Jack Laugher was overjoyed with emotion to pick up his second gold medal of the European Championships.
The 23-year-old's outstanding win at the European Diving Championships in the 3m springboard meant more than just topping the podium – it was evidence that the Harrogate diver had reached another level since 2016.
It was only two years ago that the Olympic gold and silver medallist missed out on European glory at his home championships in London by losing to Russia’s Evgenii Kuznetsov.
And the diving supreme learnt from his past mistakes to rectify his position as the best on the continent by beating Kuznetsov and Ilia Zahkarov with a score of 525.95 to take his thid European gold.
“It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve been that emotional about winning. I wanted that one very, very badly,” he said.
“The reason I’m so emotional is because it was such a good competition between us three at the top.
“The Russian guys never let me get too far away and it was tight right until the very end. It was an extremely emotional competition and I’m just so happy I’ve won.
“There’s still room for improvement which is great but it was a fantastic competition and I just happened to be the best diver and I’m just so blessed and happy with the performance.”
Eight gold medals across the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and European Championships has kept Laugher amongst the world’s best for the last four years.
Watched on by his teammates and two-time Olympic medallist Tom Daley at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, Laugher was in imperious form as 23-year-old gave off a dominating air of confidence.
But with just under two years to go before the Tokyo Olympics, Laugher is under no illusions that he must continue to raise his level.
He said: “It’s been a really important year for us. We had the Commonwealth Games and coming home with three gold medals is fantastic.
“The World Cup was really good as well. Coming up against the Chinese is very difficult every time.
“Unfortunately, they managed to pip me but hopefully that’s going to spur me onto next year and improve on certain things for my diving.
“I’m looking in good shape. Mentally, 3m springboard is one of the hardest events in the world where you’ve got some unbelievable athletes in Europe and the rest of the world so it’s going to be very difficult but I’m going to be giving it my all and hope it goes well.”