A host of new champions will be discovered at Roma 2022 with 23 Federations set to do battle for 39 medals across 13 diving events.
Just five weeks after the conclusion of the FINA World Championships the continent’s best established and rising star divers will return to competition for the LEN European Aquatics Championships in Rome.
A total of 39 medals in 13 diving events – 1m, 3m springboard, 10m platform, 3m and 10m synchro, each for men and women, as well as the team event and the mixed synchronised events on the 3m springboard as well as the 10m platform – will be awarded in the Foro Italico.
Diving (3m springboard and 10m platform) has been on the programme of European Aquatic Championships since its first edition in 1926 in Budapest (in the men’s category; the women entered one year later in Bologna). The synchronised events were introduced to the European Championships for the first time in 1997.
The team event – an official European Championship event since 2012 – will be held for the tenth time, while for the third time new rules (four divers instead of two) will apply. The mixed synchronised events celebrated their premiere at the 2016 London Europeans.
Just like in swimming, this is going to be the first diving Europeans held outdoors since 2010, and the first major championship under the (hopefully) blue skies since the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
Five out of the first seven World Champs were held outdoors in the new millennium: 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2013, since then most major diving competitions moved indoors: Olympics, Worlds, Europeans). Only the 2016 Olympics in Rio was outdoor.
Italy wins first diving gold medal of Roma 2022 – Team Event
PREVIEW – DIVING – TEAMS AND INDIVIDUALS:
Athletes from Italy, Great Britain, Germany and Ukraine will contest all 13 events.
Since Russia, which clinched the top spot in the medal rankings at the last four European editions, is not competing, those four will be the main medal contenders in Rome. France, Switzerland and the Netherlands are likely to be in contention for some podium places.
Host Italy has the largest team and in Elena Bertocchi they possess the defending 1m champion from the Budapest 2020 edition.
19-year-old Chiara Pellacani is a two-time European gold medallists who won five medals at the Budapest 2020 European Championships. She teamed up with Matteo Santoro to take mixed synchronised 3m springboard silver at the Budapest Worlds at the end of June.
Sarah Jodoin di Maria is another one-to-watch from their impressive line-up.
TEAM GREAT BRITAIN:
Divers from Great Britain had the added challenge of competing in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games for their respective nations – England and Scotland – less than two weeks ago.
Jack Laugher is the leading name in their line-up. The 27-year-old won synchronised 3m springboard gold and individual silver Rio 2016 before completing his set of medals with individual bronze at Tokyo 2020.
He claimed two golds and a bronze in Birmingham and is a three-time European champion who will compete in the 1m, 3m and 3m synchro events at Roma 2022.
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix enjoyed an impressive breakout year in 2021 where she competed at the Olympic Games at 16 and a year on heads to Rome fresh from two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games with England.
As Olympic champions Tom Daley and Matty Lee are taking a break from the sport Noah Williams, who teamed up to win gold with Lee at the Commonwealths, will seek individual success in Italy.
Grace Reid and Lois Toulson are among a host of British divers seeking to add further European honours to their medal collections.
Ukrainian ‘wonderkid’ Oleksii Sereda will attain much of the limelight in the men’s platform events. The now 16-year-old Ukrainian took the European platform title in Kyiv in 2019 in front of a home crowd.
On that day – August 11, 2019 – Sereda (13 years and seven months) inherited the title of the youngest European Champion from Daley, who was 13 years and 10 months old, when he sensationally won European platform gold in Eindhoven in March 2008.
Since then, Sereda has not only grown some centimetres but also gained a lot of competition experience. Back on June he finished second in the mixed synchro 10m event at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, his – so far – biggest international success.
Ukraine has entered the experienced duos of Oleg Kolodiy and Oleksandr Gorshkovozov as well as Sofiia Lyskun and Ksenia Bailo.
Germany – Since both Patrick Hausding, the most successful diver in the history of the European Championships with 15 European titles, and Martin Wolfram, 10m European Champion in 2015, retired after the Tokyo Games, the 27-year-old Tina Punzel is the most experienced diver in a young squad.
She will try to defend her titles in the individual and the synchro 3m event. A further medal candidate could be Timo Barthel, although his partner Lars Ruediger, with whom he recently achieved bronze in the synchro 3m event at the Worlds in Budapest, had to withdraw due to a finger injury.
OTHERS TO WATCH:
After winning the first-ever Swiss diving medal in history in 2017, a silver in the women’s 3m event, Michelle Heimberg claimed another bronze together with Jonathan Suckow in the mixed 3m synchro event in Kyiv 2019. She then won silver in the women’s 1m event in 2021.
After Benjamin Auffret retired, France made a comeback with some promising young divers, such as Jules Boyer and the sisters Jade and Nais Gillet, who successfully changed from gymnastics to diving.
The following 23 LEN member federations have entered for Rome:
ARM – Armenia, AUT – Austria, BUL – Bulgaria, DEN – Denmark, ESP – Spain, FIN – Finland, FRA – France, GBR – Great Britain, GEO – Georgia, GER – Germany, GRE – Greece, HUN – Hungary, IRL – Ireland, ITA – Italy, LAT – Latvia, NED – Netherlands, NOR – Norway, POL – Poland, ROU – Romania, SUI – Switzerland, SWE – Sweden, TUR – Turkey, UKR – Ukraine.
Prize money will be awarded to all medallists at the LEN Roma 2022 European Aquatics Championships.