Diving final a triumph for Mears

07 August 2012 / 20:56

Team GB diver Chris Mears completed one of the most heart-warming stories of the London Games as his journey from near-death to Olympic finalist was realised on Tuesday evening.

The 19-year-old from Reading was given just a five per cent chance of survival after he required life-saving surgery during a youth diving competition in Australia in January 2009.

Three years on, and again against all the odds, Mears qualified for the three-metre springboard final.

He did so by smashing his lifetime best to score 461.00 in Tuesday morning's semi-final and leave his watching parents, Katy and Paul, in tears.

While he failed to reproduce the performance in the evening, finishing 11th with a score of 439.75, it hardly mattered for a man who was ranked 48th in the world this year before the Games.

Mears did fittingly end his competition on a high, grabbing one of only two scores over 100 points for a single dive in the final, when he won nines for his hardest front four-and-a-half somersaults.

"I enjoyed every second of that," Mears said.

"I can't believe it from what I've come from to be here and stood in front of a home crowd as well - it's just been phenomenal.

"I enjoyed the experience of competing in front of a home crowd. I'd like to do it again. I wish there was a final, final to go to. It's weird that is the end of my Olympics.

"I'm going to take away a lot from it. It's great experience hopefully for Rio."