Jack Laugher eyes Tokyo defence after World Championship silver lining
Jack Laugher will get the chance to defend his Olympic 3m synchro title in Tokyo next summer after adding a world championship silver medal to his ever-burgeoning collection.
The 24-year-old from Harrogate won Great Britain’s first ever Olympic gold medal in diving when he and Chris Mears claimed the 3m synchro title in Rio three years ago.
And despite losing Mears as a partner – the former City of Leeds diver who has taken a year off from the sport – Laugher remains as competitive as ever in the springboard synchro competition.
At the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea, Laugher and his new partner, Daniel Goodfellow, clinched silver and with it, qualification for next year’s Olympics.
There could have been a touch of regret about where they finished, given they led the competition after four of six rounds.
But having won just one bronze medal throughout the World Series leading into the main event of the year, a silver medal is a strong return.
“This means the world to us,” said Laugher, whose team finished second behind China.
“It’s not been an easy year for us at all and the lows have been really low but to turn it around like that today and qualify for the Olympics is amazing.”
Goodfellow, the 22-year-old from Cambridge who has relocated to the City of Leeds club to work with Laugher, said: “We’ve achieved this with just eight months together so I’m excited to see what we could do with another 12 months of training.”
Their club-mate at the John Charles Aquatics Centre, Kat Torrance of Leeds, finished fourth in the 1m springboard, just 1.8 points off bronze.
“I’m pleased with the performance and it’s good to get the cobwebs off and get used to the venue, which is big and quite loud,” said Torrance, 20, who will contest the 3m synchro with Grace Reid today.