Harrogate Jack Laugher is making waves in the diving world

A Harrogate newcomer is causing quite a splash in the diving world

Jack Laugher is obviously not the sort of cap who prefers to dip his toe gingerly into the water when it comes to tackling a new challenge. He prefers to dive straight in at the deep end – literally.

The 16-year-old from Harrogate, who only recently began training with City of Leeds Diving Club at the John Charles Centre for Sport Aquatics Centre, did the double at his first major event by claiming victory in the 1m springboard competition and setting a new British record in the 3m dive, seeing off a challenge from world champion Tom Daley into the bargain.

He was joined on the winners’ rostrum at the first major national event of the season, the GB National Cup in Southend, by three of his Leeds’ team members who swept the board in the women’s section. Fifteen-year-old Hannah Starling took gold in the 1m springboard and bronze in the 3m; 18-year-old Chloe Hurd took gold in the 3m and bronze in the 1m; and 14-year-old Alicia Blagg, performing more difficult dives since becoming the youngest member of the English team at the Commonwealth Games, took silver in both competitions.

The trio then claimed more medal success in the 3m synchronised event, with Chloe and Alicia teaming up to win gold with Hannah partnering Edinburgh’s Grace Reid to silver.

The men’s team also claimed a clutch of medals. After failing to pick up any in national events in 2010, the team returned from Southend with second and third places in both the 3m and 10m synchronised events.All in all, the City of Leeds squad secured a total haul of 15 medals at the event, leading to 11 of the team being selected to represent Great Britain at international events all over the world in the coming months.

The divers training is overseen by senior diving coach Adrian Hinchliffe and former world champion Edwin Jongejans.

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‘The whole team put in a great performance and started the season really impressively,’ said Adrian. ‘Jack has not been with us very long but he showed the fantastic potential he has by beating Tom Daley and breaking the British record in the process. It was a dream weekend for him.

‘On the women’s side, the team picked up from where they left off last season. It’s great to see the drive they have to keep improving and winning. With the men’s success too it sets us up well for the year ahead.’

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