Olympic divers Punzel, Hentschel and Laugher win European golds

Simone Castrovillari / LEN
Nick Hope byline

Olympic medal-winning divers Tina Punzel and Lena Hentschel (synchronised 3m springboard) of Germany and Great Britain’s Jack Laugher (1m springboard) overcame challenging conditions to claim gold medals on the forth day of diving at Roma 2022.

WOMEN’S SYNCHRONISED 3M SPRINGBOARD FINAL:

German Olympic bronze medallists Tina Punzel and Lena Hentschel were the overwhelming favourites in the women’s synchronised 3m springboard final.

However, the Italian duo Chiara Pellacani and Elena Bertocchi, who had both won gold medals in earlier events at Roma 2022, were hoping for another podium push.

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The Italians won the title back in 2018, while the Germans claimed gold ahead of Pellacani and Bertocchi at the most recent edition of the European Championships in Budapest last year. 

Ultimately Punzel and Hentschel were a class apart and led from the opening round – increased their advantage with each of their five dives.

Their total of 281.16 secured gold. 

The 2018 gold medallists were third, behind Ukraine in the early stages before finding their form and a total of 260.76 which secure them silver.

The battle for bronze was much more intriguing with Ukraine, Great Britain and Sweden all in contention at various stages.

Britain’s Desharne Bent Ashmeil and Amy Rollinson thought they had done enough, but Elna Widerstom and Emilian Nilsson Garip of Sweden scraped third (257.70) by 0.30 points with their final dive.

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“I’m super happy,” said Hentschel. “It was a very good competition for us, we were well prepared after such a long season and we felt really fit!

“This is a top level facility, we had luck with the weather and we can only be satisfied with this conclusion!” 

Team-mate Punzel added; “I enjoy diving here, I like this facility and the platforms are good. It’s a great feeling amazing.”

MEN’S 1M SPRINGBOARD FINAL:

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Rio Olympic synchronised 3m springboard champion Jack Laugher who Commonwealth 1m gold just over two weeks ago and led from the first round.

The home crowd did their best to push Italian duo Giovanni Tocci and Lorenzo Marsaglia but their battle would be for the minor medals, with Britain’s Laugher in a league of his own.

Moritz Wesemann of Germany and Laugher’s team-mate Houlden threated to deny the Italian’s medals but after Marsaglia secured silver Tocci then overhalled his Germany rival for the final place on the podium.

Laugher took gold with a total score of 344.10 from his six dives, with Marsaglia (332.25) second and Tocci (312.40) third.

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“It was a great event and I enjoyed competing here very much,” Laugher told LEN TV.

“I knew that the Italians are very strong, they have a good programme, so I needed to be very consistent. I’ve had a great season so far in the 1m springboard.”