Jack Laugher targets World Championships success in Barcelona

PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM - Diving - GB Diving Training Camp - Palma, Mallorca, Spain - 27/06/13 - Jack Laugher.

PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM - Diving - GB Diving Training Camp - Palma, Mallorca, Spain - 27/06/13 - Jack Laugher.

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Ripon diver Jack Laugher is in buoyant mood ahead of this week’s FINA World Diving Championships in Barcelona.

Laugher jetted out to Catalunya on Tuesday excited for another chance to tackle the world’s best.

The 18-year-old will represent Great Britain in the 1m and 3m springboard at the championships, 12 months after slipping off the board during the 3m competition at London 2012.

But the youngster has cast that experience aside in 2013 and clinched his first senior medal at the Grand Prix in Kazan, Russia last month when he produced a sensational personal best.

He has since been at a Great Britain training camp in Mallorca alongside Olympic medallist Tom Daley and fellow 3m springboard talent Chris Mears.

And he believes extended training has helped improved his form since his Olympic disappointment.

“It was a big eye opener. But I put myself forward to move on instead of moving backwards,” he said.

“I have put new dives in to make sure I am good enough to compete. That’s how I secured a personal best at Kazan.

“The other competitions feel a lot easier now.”

The World Championships will be held at Barcelona’s outdoor Municipal de Montjuic pool, the stunning panoramic city backdrop providing some of the 1992 Olympic Games’ most iconic moments.

It will be the first time Laugher has competed outdoors since he finished eighth in the 3m springboard at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai.

“I’ve always dived well outdoors,” Laugher said.

“In diving you have points which you reference to in the air, but when you dive outside it’s all just blue.

“Some people really thrive on that. I love it. It’s good fun.”

The Ripon Grammar School pupils took a break from diving competitions after the Olympics to focus on training and his academic studies.

But he has ramped up his schedule after term finished as he aims to work his way into the British 3m synchronised diving team to partner Mears, and displace teammate Nick Robinson-Baker.

The warm-weather trip to Mallorca was used to get the divers prepared for the outdoor conditions.

And Laugher added that the benefits were sure to pay dividends when the championships begin.

He said: “It was just good to get used to everything. We trained outside which helped us to find out where we were in the air.

“If you don’t know where you are, you’re stuffed. It was good fun and hot out there.

“Getting a tan makes you feel good too. It makes you feel more confident and stops you burning which makes your performance better.”

The youngster highlighted the importance of his Leeds training group in his career so far.

Five of the Great British squad for the World Championships train in Leeds, and with university on the horizon, Laugher said he would stay in the county.

“I have set everything up there. I want to stay there, and more importantly, I need to be,” he added.

“Leeds is the place to be.”

lJack Laugher is a member of the British Gas GBR Diving Team and is calling on everyone to get back in the pool by taking part in British Gas SwimBritain.

Team up and take on SwimBritain Sheffield at Ponds Forge on Sunday September 1 by visiting www.swimbritain.co.uk/signup