Jack Laugher was left to reflect on ‘the best day in English diving history’ having completed a hat-trick of titles at the Commonwealth Games.
The Harrogate-born former Ripon Grammar School pupil has become such a consistent force in the sport that he almost stole the limelight from Tom Daley as he won his third gold of the week alongside Chris Mears in the 3m synchro – the event in which the pair won Olympic gold in Rio two years ago.
Friday’s English medal rush had started with Daley, who combined with Dan Goodfellow to claim victory in the 10m synchro, with Noah Williams and Matty Dixon taking silver in that event.
From a wider British perspective, Grace Reid earned gold for Scotland in the 1m springboard and for Laugher, who overtook Daley with his fifth Commonwealth gold, there have been few better days on the boards.
“It’s been a fantastic day. For all of us to get medals, British diving’s looking extremely strong at the moment. We’ve had some fantastic results,” said the 23-year-old, who had already won the 1m and 3m springboard events before partnering Leeds’ Mears to more glory.
“Today’s been one of the best in English diving history. I’ve dived brilliantly over these past three days, but it hasn’t been easy at all.
“I’ve had to dive really well to get these titles and I’m really proud of getting them and how I’ve performed.
“People expect you to be the best and that’s always hard. I always struggle with that. When you’re Olympic champion, Olympic silver medallist, world medallist, people expect you to win. That’s difficult.
“To have all those pressures and to deliver, it feels brilliant.”
While Laugher has been the standout diver at these Games, longstanding partner Chris Mears was yesterday once again by his side to perform.
And after a 2017 where he started to question his love of the sport, Mears was thrilled to be back on top of the diving world – taking gold in his only event in Gold Coast.
He said: “I dug myself out of the hole I was in. And now I feel like myself again. I love competing under pressure. I’ve been a diver since I was seven years old. It’s part of my identity. It just feels right.”
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