Chiara Pellacani wins 3m gold, her fifth Roma 2022 medal

Chiara Pellacani – Simone Castrovillari / LEN
Nick Hope byline

Italian Chiara Pellacani became the first woman to win five diving medals at a European Aquatics Championships following a stunning victory in the 3m springboard final. 

British also divers extended their medal-winning run at the Roma 2022 European Aquatics Championships with Ben Cutmore and Kyle Kothari claiming victory in the men’s synchronised 10m platform final.

WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL 3M SPRINGBOARD FINAL:

Chiara Pellacani has been one of the stand out divers during Roma 2022 and heading into her final day of competition she had claimed medals each of her competitions.

The 21-year-old began with Team Event gold on Monday before taking bronze in the women’s 1m on Tuesday.

Mixed synchronised 3m bronze and women’s synchronised 3m silver followed. 

She qualified for the women’s individual 3m springboard final with the highest score but knew there was likely to be strong competition from Switzerland’s Michelle Heimberg, her team-mate Elisa Pizzini and Olympic medallist Tina Punzel.

Michelle Heimberg – Simone Castrovillari / LEN

Sweden’s Emilia Nilsson Garip was the early leader before Heimberg edged ahead in the second round.

Pellacani improved round-by-round and after taking the lead in the third, she maintained that advantage and secured gold with a brilliant final routine.

Yasmin Harper – Simone Castrovillari / LEN

Her total of 318.75 enough for a clear victory over Heimberg (301.80), with Britain’s Yasmin Harper (296.20) claiming a surprise, but well-earned bronze.

“This one for me is really special because I really like the 3m,” Pellacani  told LEN TV.

I’m proud of how I handled the pressure at home because there were a lot of people, so it was amazing.”

MEN’S SYNCHRONISED 10M PLATFORM FINAL:

Ukrainian 16-year-old Oleksii Sereda, a four-time European medallist, was the highest profile diver the men’s synchronised 10m platform final and he was paired with a new partner in Kirill Boliukh.

The duo finished fourth at the World Championships earlier this year and they made a strong start. Second after the opening round and up to first by the end of round three – halfway through the competition.

Simone Castrovillari / LEN

Italian’s Andreas Sargent Larsen and Eduard Timbretti Gugiu were part of their nation’s Team Event gold medal success on the opening day of competition, but their bid for further honours here began to fade in round four.

It remained close between themselves and Timo Barthel / Jaden Eikermann Gregorchuk, but the Germany duo showed greater consistency over the six rounds and would secure bronze with a combined total score of 369.30.

Simone Castrovillari / LEN

Sereda and Boliuk held what looked to be a comfortable lead heading into the final round where they took on their toughest routine – the front 4.5 somersault dive.

Unfortunately for them the Ukrainian’s did not quite land the routine they hoped for. Great Britain’s Ben Cutmore and Kyle Kothari on the other hand produced their best dive when it really mattered.

Their total of 390.48 saw them edge ahead of Ukraine (388.02) and secure their first European title together, which was also Kothari’s second gold of the week following victory in the mixed synchronised 10m event alongside Lois Toulson.

“I wasn’t thinking about the crowd or the occasion or anything, I just thought that if we kept it steady we would have a chance of a medal, so a gold, well it’s quite nice,” Kothari told LEN TV. 

He and his synchronised partner finished fourth together at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month and Cutmore was relieved to secure a place on the podium.

“It was a gutting experience (at Birmingham 2022), but we felt confident here that we could get that medal and for it to be gold is a real bonus.”