Jack Laugher and Chris Mears earn historic bronze and bag Rio 2016 Olympics places

City of Leeds's Jack Laugher and Chris Mears celebrate taking bronze in the men's three metre synchro springboard diving final at the World Championships in Kazan (Picture:Sergei Grits/AP).
City of Leeds's Jack Laugher and Chris Mears celebrate taking bronze in the men's three metre synchro springboard diving final at the World Championships in Kazan (Picture:Sergei Grits/AP).
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Ripon’s Jack Laugher and Chris Mears claimed a historic synchronised three metre springboard bronze at the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan to secure a place at the Rio Olympics next year.

The Commonwealth champions, who train at the John Charles Aquatics centre in Leeds, battled back after making a poor start to score 445.20 points to become the first British 3m synchro medallists at a World Championships.

Laugher and Mears 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 third-placed finish for the duo, who belong to the City of Leeds Diving Club, also secured Great Britain a place in the event at the 2016 Olympics.

Laugher was delighted and told www.swimming.org: “It was a brilliant performance and there were some absolutely amazing dives from both of us.

“It’s a really special feeling and to have my best mate standing next to me as well is what makes it even sweeter.

“We couldn’t be happier and to get the Rio spot is a huge weight off our shoulders now.

“We won a silver at the London leg of the World Series and today we won bronze at the World Championships – that’s huge for us, and we’re very excited for next year.”