Jack Laugher vows to get even better after winning seventh Commonwealth Games gold alongside Anthony Harding
Having already bagged 1m gold at the Birmingham Games, the Harrogate-born diving ace romped to his seventh Commonwealth title in the 3m synchro alongside his new City of Leeds team-mate.
Laugher and Harding have now won medals at their first two majors together following a silver at last month’s World Championships in Budapest.
But, ex-Ripon Grammar School pupil Laugher – who won an Olympic gold medal in this event alongside Chris Mears six years ago – believes there is plenty of headroom to improve on an overall score of 438.33, enough for victory by a yawning margin of 61.56 points.
“The feeling of winning is extraordinary, it’s the reason why I do this and it’s what keeps the fire burning,” he said following Friday's triumph.
“In this new partnership now, we’ve had two good performances but what’s exciting for me is that there’s still room for improvement.
“I would love to be able to do a diving list one day at some competition, where we truly maximise what we’re capable of.
“Everything clicks very well, it’s easy to train and hopefully one day I might be able to replicate some of the things I’ve done in the past – we already are.”
It was another three-peat for Laugher who has now held both 1m and 3m synchro titles since Glasgow 2014.
In the synchro, he has returned to the list of dives that he used to win Great Britain’s first-ever Olympic diving gold medal with Mears at Rio 2016.
It includes a devilishly difficult 2½ Somersaults 3 Twists dive, carrying a difficulty of 3.9, that is too complex even for the Chinese pair who beat the Brits to world gold.
“In terms of the difficulty of our lists, we were the favourites going in,” added Laugher.
“You must remember it’s a home Games, there is a lot of pressure and expectation coming in, particularly on myself and I’m sure Anthony feels it.
"We solidified ourselves in the first couple of rounds. I made a few mistakes here and there, but I’m really, really pleased with how we’ve done.”
Laugher had been desperate to win gold for his late grandma and he delivered at the first opportunity, on Thursday.
Grandma Bernice, his biggest supporter, lived in Sedgley just a few miles from the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.
She passed away a couple of months ago, with Laugher unable to attend her funeral because of the risk of catching Covid ahead of the World Championships – where he won three medals.
But in Birmingham he was desperate to honour her memory and he did so, taking his overall tally of golds to six at the Games.
He added: “It’s special that today I’ve hopefully done her proud. She was my biggest supporter and I think hopefully I have done her, my family, my mum on poolside, my girlfriend’s parents up in the stands, I hope I have done them all proud.
“My grandma is always in my heart, but I think when you get too emotional and bring the emotional side of things into this sport, into a very fine motor skill sport, and a high skill sport, it can lead you astray when you are doing it for something.
“I know she would be proud of me. I’m proud I’ve done it for her.”
Laugher missed out on a golden treble on Sunday and had to settle for bronze after scoring zero having performed the wrong dive in round one of the 3m springboard final.
Having fought back into pole position by the end of the fourth round of dives, he then scored just 53.20 for his fifth attempt.
That presented English team-mates Dan Goodfellow and Jordan Houlden the opportunity to overtake him and they would eventually finish first and second respectively.
"I got a bit of a knee tremble on the board,’ Laugher said of his first-round issue.
"I was a bit nervous and basically just doubted myself a little bit too much, so I just did a different dive.
"I just tried that little bit too hard on my fifth dive. It was frustrating and I was angry. With the extra 30 points that I’d usually get on that dive, the results are different.
"I thought that it was going to be a bit of a comeback story, but it kind of still is. Going from scraping through after failing a first dive to getting a bronze medal is a fantastic achievement."
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