Commonwealth Games: Dan Goodfellow wins 3m springboard gold in England’s top three

Hosts: Birmingham dates: July 28 to August 8
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Dan Goodfellow won his first individual gold at the Commonwealth Games and led England’s top three in the men’s 3m springboard final.

Jordan Houlden won silver while Jack Laugher – the defending champion in the event – overcame his previous nerves to take bronze.

There were further medals for England in the final of the women’s synchronized 10m platform, with Eden Cheng and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix winning silver and Robyn Birch and Emily Martin bronze.

The win brought 25-year-old Goodfellow his first major title, having won Olympic, World and European medals in synchronized events. He finished with 484.45 points.

“It’s a great feeling,” he told BBC Sport. “I’ve had a bit of a difficult year, so to get a result here means everything.

“I’m just over the moon.”

Houlden, 24, finished 19.30 points behind Goodfellow, with Laugher – already a two-time gold medalist with the Birmingham Commonwealths – a further 2.85 back. Scotland’s James Heatly was fourth.

Goodfellow chose to go solo in early 2022 after years of synchro success, winning 10m platform gold at the 2018 Games with Tom Daley and bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

About participating individually, he said: “It feels great. I’m really enjoying my dives at the moment and it feels nice to do it alone.

“I really enjoy training alone and doing the events alone. We guys are all Yorkshire based so we couldn’t ask for anything better from a one-two-three from the Yorkshire guys.”

More medals for Team England

Cheng and Spendolini-Sirieix left late to launch themselves into the medals, having looked out of the fray until their penultimate dive, taking them from sixth to fourth.

But after a disastrous final dive by their Canadian opponents, an opportunity opened up – and they seized it.

They scored 76.80 on their last attempt, the highest score awarded in the final, to take silver, finishing 7.14 points behind Australian winners Charli Petrov and Melissa Wu.

Petrov, just 14 years old, was not born when her 30-year-old partner made her Commonwealth debut in 2006.

It is the second medal of 17-year-old Spendolini-Sirieix at the Games, after she gold won in the individual event.

“I’m really proud of us as a team. I’m so blown away by how incredibly loud and supportive the crowd is. We did a really good job,” she said.

“To have a party with Eden and then see Robyn and Emily come and celebrate with us, it’s a very special moment.

“Sport is so beautiful. You play against each other but in the end you are one big family. I am really proud of everyone.”

Birch and Martin, meanwhile, had hung around third for much of the race and looked stunned as they medaled on their final dive.

“Normally I don’t look at the scores, but when I look at the scoreboard and realize we got a medal, it was just amazing. It’s like a dream, really,” said 28-year-old Birch.

Laughter conquers nerves

Laugher, 27, had come to this event as the favourite, but blamed his nerves for a poor performance in the qualifying round on Saturday morning.

There, he scored zero points across the board after making the wrong dive for his opener, blaming his nerves and the pressure he felt.

After the preliminaries, Laugher said he planned to sleep and “reset” for the evening’s finale. He returned to the Sandwell Aquatics Center as another diver.

His first two dives into the final saw him finish second in the standings, before a third dive of 86.70 points took him to the top.

But an unusual fifth dive, awarded just 53.20 points, saw him slip to fourth. He made up for his last attempt and scored his highest mark of 87.75 points with the most difficult dive on his schedule.

“I just reset my day, came back with a more positive attitude and tried to show my skills and I think I did,” he told BBC Sport.

“A mistake that cost me my position, but overall, compared to this morning, a great performance.

“I think if you’re going to lose a gold or a silver medal, who better to lose it than two of your really good friends, good companions, training partner and also Team England.”

Laugher won a hat-trick of Commonwealth gold in Australia four years ago, and Saturday’s win would have seen him repeat that feat.

“I can’t be disappointed. It’s two golds and one bronze,” he said.

“I would have loved to have consecutive wins, but it’s diving. It goes so fast and there are so many times, like this morning and this afternoon, that great divers have made mistakes and it takes a split second to go wrong and that costs you a medal.

“But I’m really lucky to get on the podium – a good performance overall and I think I can move on and get better.”

Houlden’s silver marked his second medal at the Games, having won 1m springboard bronze behind Laugher earlier this week.

For someone who was afraid of water as a child and spent two days of an induction camp to even get into the pool, he now wants to use his Commonwealth medals as a catalyst for greater things.

“I’m really out of words now,” he told BBC Sport. “Two Commonwealth medals, it’s a really big achievement for me.

“When I come here, because it’s my first Commonwealth Games, I feel like I’ve stepped up the pressure and really gave it my all.

“I’m between two Olympic medalists – it’s a whole team. It’s sensational. Big dreams and hopefully I can go to the Olympics and be with these two guys.”

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