Jack Laugher aims for 3m springboard gold at World Championships

Jack Laugher (Photo: Keith Allen Photography)

Jack Laugher (Photo: Keith Allen Photography)

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Diving sensation Jack Laugher will bid to upgrade his world championships bronze medal to a golden variety over the next two days of competition in Russia.

Laugher and synchro partner Chris Mears claimed a historic medal at the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan on Tuesday evening and secured a place at the Rio Olympics next year.

The Commonwealth champions, who train together at the John Charles Aquatics centre in Leeds, battled back after making a poor start to become the first British 3m synchro medallists at a World Championships.

Today, Laugher will be back in the pool bidding for individual glory in the 3m springboard competition.

Laugher is a hot favourite for a medal in the 3m springboard competition after setting the world alight during the World Series earlier in the year.

Qualifying heats began this morning at 10am before afternoon’s semi-finals to whittle the field down to just the top eight divers.

The best in the world will then battle it out in Friday evening’s final, starting at 7.30pm (5.30pm BST).

Laugher and Mears scored a total 445.20 point as they finished behind hot favourites Cao Yuan and Qin Kai (471.45) of China, with Russia’s Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov claiming silver with 459.18.

The Brits’ preparation for has been hampered by a niggling injury to Mears’ back.

Having qualified strongly from the prelims in fourth, the Brits gave themselves a solid platform with their opening two low tariff dives to place sixth on 102.00.

The pair then hit top gear for their higher tariff optional dives, scoring in the 80s for all four to move into the podium positions.

And while the Russians ultimately leapfrogged them into the silver medal position, Laugher and Mears underlined their potential for next year’s Olympics as they kept their heads to land their first World Championship honours.