Italian divers Lorenzo Marsaglia and Giovanni Tocci delighted the home fans with respective gold and bronze medals in the men’s 3m springboard final on the penultimate day of competition at Roma 2022.
Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix secured Britain a fifth gold in Italy with victory in the synchronised 10m platform final, with Ukraine and Germany completing the podium.
MEN’S 3M SPRINGBOARD FINAL:
Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist and four-time European champion Jack Laugher was the favourite for another title heading into the men’s individual 3m springboard final, but his form has been patchy this season.
The Briton was the second highest scorer in the preliminaries with Italian 1m bronze medallist Giovanni Tocci topping the standings, but with the scores reset they were just two among of host of potential medallists.
As expected Laugher made a strong start and led after two rounds, but big errors in the third, fifth and sixth rounds saw him out of contention for a podium place.
Team-mate Jordan Houlden, who won two medals at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month, demonstrated much greater consistency and his combined score of 428.55 would be enough for silver – his first individual European Championship medal.
As the competition progressed the Italian fans became increasingly excited as Lorenzo Marsaglia and Giovanni solidified their medal prospects.
The pair had each won 1m medals earlier in the week – behind Laugher – but success on the 3m is what they craved most and it was Marsaglia who would secure his place at the top of the podium.
His best dive came in the third round with 84.00 helping him to a total of 453.85, while Tocci claiming third despite errors in the third and final rounds.
“I have no words, this is incredible and I’m in shock,” Marsaglia told LEN TV. “My main feelings right now are that I can’t believe I’ve beaten Jack (Laugher) because he’s amazing, but yes the crowd were fantastic today and I’m so proud to do this for them.”
WOMEN’S SYNCHRONISED 10M PLATFORM FINAL:
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix has enjoyed an incredible month, winning two golds and a silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK, before heading to Roma 2022 and securing her first individual European crown.
The 17-year-old also took silver in the Team Event, but with her usual synchronised 10m platform partner Eden Cheng missing the event to undergo ankle surgery she was paired with British team-mate – and individual rival – Lois Toulson.
Despite only 24 hours of training together the pair made a confident start and were in joint second with Ukraine after two of the five rounds.
German sisters Elena Wassen and Christina Wassen were top of the standings.
The pair had each won European honours at previous events but never together and although they could not quite maintain their gold medal push their strong performance and total score of 289.86, was enough to claim bronze.
Ukrainian duo Kseniia Bailo and Sofiia Lyskun were in third heading into the final round, but an impressive last dive saw them climb to second – total 298.86 – and secure silver.
British selectors will have some interesting decisions to make next season when deciding synchronised pairings after Spendolini-Sirieix and Toulson claimed gold with a combined score of 303.60.
“We only had one training session but I have grown and learned so much since Tokyo, especially in terms of how to deal with pressure and have fun competing,” Spendolini-Sirieix told LEN TV. “I’m exhausted but happy and had a lot of fun diving with Lois.”
Toulson, who was not selected for the World championships earlier in the year, but went on to win medals at the Commonwealth Games and Europeans admitted her season had “ups and downs” but said she was “glad to be finishing it on a high with Andrea.”