Starling happy with Olympic diving debut

04 August 2012 / 17:53

Diver Hannah Starling hailed the best day of her life despite missing out on the women's three-metre springboard final by the narrowest of margins on her Olympic debut.

Starling, at 17 the youngest diver in the competition, fell just 0.75 points short of Sunday night's medal round after producing the second-best international score of her young career.

The City of Leeds diver had only scraped into Saturday's semi-final on her last dive on Friday and almost repeated the feat after producing her best score for the forward two-and-a-half somersaults with a twist.

That left her on 313.95, just shy of the personal best she managed to qualify a place for the Olympics at the World Cup in February, but after a nervous wait just missed out on the 12-diver cut-off along with Becky Gallantree.

A smiling Starling was not too downbeat, however, after she had clearly enjoyed herself in front of the 17,500 home fans over the past two days.

"I'm really happy. I've got 13th at the Olympics and I didn't think I'd even make the semi-final yesterday," she said. "I missed the final by 0.75 but it is my first Olympics so I'm really happy with my performance. I got over 300, I really wanted to do that. I aimed to have a good time and enjoy it. That's what I did so I am really happy."

Starling and Gallantree, who was well below her best to finish adrift of the pack in 18th, had created history on Friday when they ensured two female British divers reached a springboard Olympic semi-final for the first time.

While Starling produced a performance to prove she has a long career in the sport, Gallantree was left considering her future. The 27-year-old failed to get past the first round four years ago in Beijing, but had started the day with realistic hope of reaching the final after she impressively finished ninth at February's World Cup in this same pool.

But after making a solid start she missed her forward three-and-a-half somersaults before scores as low as four for her bombed inward two-and-a-half somersaults left her out of contention. "Sport can be tough sometimes. It didn't go my way today. I'm a little disappointed," she said.

Asked about her future plans, she added: "I'm not sure I haven't made any decisions about that yet. It's just about supporting the rest of the team for the moment.