European Championship gold one that Laugher 'wanted very, very badly'

Jack Laugher is celebrating more gold medal glory
Jack Laugher is celebrating more gold medal glory

Harrogate's Jack Laugher is coolness personified on the diving board but even he admits European Championship gold in the 3m springboard tugged on the heartstrings.

The 23-year-old former Ripon Grammar School pupil already has one gold medal to his name at the competition in Edinburgh but his latest gong was extra special.

Laugher just missed out on continental glory in London, losing to Russia’s Evgenii Kuznetsov.

But the Olympic gold medallist put those memories to bed with a stunning 525.95 at the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

And following that golden success, Laugher claimed standing on top of the podium did get the emotions going.

“It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve been that emotional about winning. I wanted that one very, very badly,” he said.

“The reason I’m so emotional is because it was such a good competition between us three at the top.

“The Russian guys never let me get too far away and it was tight right until the very end. It was an extremely emotional competition and I’m just so happy I’ve won.

“There’s still room for improvement which is great but it was a fantastic competition and I just happened to be the best diver and I’m just so blessed and happy with the performance.”

Gold medals at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and European Championships has given Laugher an air of confidence whenever he steps up to compete and the diver admits he’s feeling good.

“I’ve been in the top three or four in the world for a couple of years now and that really does make you feel extremely good.

“That counts in the eyes of the judges, your competitors and in myself I feel very confident when I go out on that board and I know what I’m doing now.

“I’m focussed and I’m concentrated and I know exactly to do my dives and I think that showed.”

Two golds could become three in Edinburgh as Laugher teams up with Chris Mears for the 3m synchro.

Mears and Laugher became Britain’s first diving champions at the Olympics two years ago and the North Yorkshire diver is looking forward to linking back up with his good friend.

He said: “I’d love to get one more but the Russian boys are amazing at Synchro. It’s going to be an amazing contest.

“It’s one that I’m really excited for. It’s Chris’ first event at the European Championships so I’m hoping it will go well for us.”

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