Olympian fumes at coach’s exit

Jack Laugher

Jack Laugher

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Harrogate’s Olympic champion Jack Laugher has spoken out after his coach quit British Diving to join the Australian national team.

Adrian Hinchliffe helped Laugher secure Team GB’s first ever Olympic diving gold alongside Chris Mears at the Rio 2016 games, and wanted a full-time contract in the wake of his success.

An offer from British Diving was not forthcoming, however, so Hinchliffe instead opted to take up the role with Australia Diving as their head coach.

“He’s achieved things as a coach that no-one in this country has ever done before and it’s a massive insult to me and to Ady,” Laugher told BBC Look North.

“British Diving and the national performance director [Alexei Evangulov] have really overlooked how much of a key part he is.

“To have someone like Ady say ‘sack this I’m leaving’, well it should never have got to this point.”

Hinchliffe was keen to begin working on a full-time basis in order to prepare Britain’s diving hopefuls for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Yet, British Diving’s failure to tie down their man comes despite them receving a £1.3million increase in funding – from £7.5m to £8.8m - ahead of the next games.

In the wake of Hinchliffe’s departure, British Swimming issued a statement which said: “British Diving is obviously disappointed with Ady’s decision to move on to work in Australia, as he has done great things for the sport.

“We were aware that he wanted to work with the sport full-time and we were in the process of beginning discussions but unfortunately timescales didn’t allow these to conclude.

“We’d like to thank him for all of his hard work and dedication, and we wish him well for the future in Australia.”