Tom Daley and Grace Reid may only have trained together for less than a fortnight but that didn’t stop them producing some magnificent diving to win mixed 3m synchro gold at the European Aquatics Championships on Wednesday evening.
The duo conjured up five incredibly impressive dives at the London Aquatics Centre to send a vociferous home crowd into raptures as their total of 321.06 points was more than enough to push Italy’s Tania Cagnotto and Maicol Verzotto into second while Nadezhda Bazhina and Nikita Shleikher of Russia took bronze.
With mixed synchro events not included in the Olympic Games, the British pair were only put together for this competition at the start of May, while Daley is also a 10m platform rather than 3m specialist.
But that didn’t hinder them as their final two dives scored 76.26 and 75.60 respectively – both higher scores than any other pair produced all evening – to seal Great Britain’s first gold medal of the European Championships.
However Daley, who won 10m platform bronze in the same pool at London 2012, claims he is still trying to come to terms with the achievement.
“I don’t really know what just happened,” Daley, who is also competing in the 10m synchro and individual 10m platform in London, admitted to British Swimming.
“Grace and I were put together ten days ago and we’ve done about five sessions together so I’m over the moon to come away as European champions on a board that I never train.
“It was great to have the home crowd, our families in the audience. It’s been really fun although I was terrified before starting the competition.
“It could be a possible event at 2020 in the Olympic Games and Great Britain are really strong at the mixed synchro events.”
The gold was a first major title for Reid, who turned 20 on Monday, while she also finished seventh in the women’s 1m springboard event earlier in the evening.
Fellow Brit Katherine Torrance came 12th although Reid’s position could have been even better as she led the entire field with just two dives remaining.
But despite not achieving double medal success, the youngster could not hide her delight at how the day panned out as a whole.
“Today was a really good day for me and I don’t think I’m going to sleep tonight,” said Reid.
“There’s a lot to take away from today and hopefully I can continue to build on it this season.”