Daley and Gallantree win diving world title for Great Britain

Kazan 2015 - DV

Tom Daley and Rebecca Gallantree struck world gold for Great Britain, resoundingly beating a pair of newly crowned Chinese champions to claim the inaugural mixed team diving title in Kazan’s Aquatics Palace. Daley, world 10m champion in 2009, excelled himself with monumental scores in his two dives on the 10m tower in the three-round event in which each of the duo dived alternately three times, with at least one dive each on the 3m and 10m boards. It capped a great couple of days for Britain after Jack Laugher and Chris Mears had scooped bronze in the men’s 3m synchro final the previous evening, the nation’s first world championship diving medals since Daley’s triumph six years earlier.

The British pair, diving second of the 14 duos, won with 434.65 points, with Ukraine charging through in the last round to snatch the silver (426.45) and relegate China’s Xie Siyi and Chen Ruolin to bronze (425.40), with the Russian hosts denied a medal in fourth place (418.50).

The winners of the first-ever Team Event at the FINA World Championships - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Daley, Olympic 10m bronze medallist at the 2012 London Games, rocketed the British pair into the lead with his second dive, an armstand back three somersaults which netted four perfect 10s from the judges and 101.50 points, the highest score of the night. With Gallantree maintaining the momentum in her turn, Daley nailed his final back 3-1/2 somersaults for a score of 99.00 which left any challengers with an enormous challenge – one that proved beyond even the Chinese, who had won all but one of the seven titles previously decided in Kazan, Italy’s Tania Cagnotto prevailing on the 1m springboard.

Oleksandr Gorshkovozov and Iuliia Prokopchuk were Ukraine’s heroes, Gorshkovozov unfurling a superb forward 4-1/2 somersaults from the tower with his last dive for a score of 99.90 and Prokopchuk finishing the job with a back 2-1/2 somersaults and 1-1/2 twists for 81.60 which together propelled them from sixth in the second round to silver in the third and last. It carried them past the Chinese pair, leaving the favourites with bronze to go with Olympic champion Chen’s Kazan gold in the women’s 10m synchro – her fifth in succession at the Worlds - and Xie’s gold in the men’s 1m springboard.


Rebecca Galantree (GBR, gold): “I can’t believe we won the gold medal. We came to this event to have fun. We realised before the individual events we could do it. It’s incredible. To say ‘I am a world champion’ it’s really amazing. I need to say ‘Thank you Tom for doing so well’”.

Tom Daley (GBR, gold): “We didn’t have any expectation about this competition because we know China is so strong in team event and also in platform. I said to Becky that it’s still a dream to listen to the national anthem while being in the highest march of the podium. I have dreams about it and when it finally happens it’s such an insane feeling. I need to say thank you Becky too. The answer for the victory is a lot of sacrifice, a lot of training, a lot every morning, lots of hamburgers not eaten, lots of French fries not eaten, lots of work hard. When I came back home after Rome 2009, I was only fifteen, I didn’t have any idea about the scary feelings you may have during the competition. To share a medal with Becky it feels great. To sing the national anthem in harmony with somebody else feels quite good”.

Oleksandr Gorshkovozov (UKR, silver):
“For us it was a great surprise. No one was expecting the Ukrainian team to get the second place. We got several fourth places before, so this silver medal is quite exciting!”

Iuliia Prokopchuk: (UKR, silver):
“I must congratulate the winners, the British Team, for their gold medal. For us, it’s the first time we beat China”.

Iuliia Prokopchuk (UKR) diving for silver - Photo credit: Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia

Chen Ruolin (CHN, bronze):
“It was the first time we competed in this event, and we were feeling excited and nervous. The bronze is OK for me though my goal is always to be the champion. Our failure might be caused by the lower DD and entry. I have never competed in the springboard at such a world level event, so I did not perform my best. But this new event is fun. It is a new challenge for all the divers”.

Xie Siyi (CHN, bronze):
“I was asked to compete in this event just before the worlds and did not prepare well. I felt a bit nervous during the competition, especially on the springboard part since I just changed from a platform diver to a springboard one. I should take most of the responsibilities for the failure since I lost most of the points starting from the 301 and other dives. I still need to learn and train more on the springboard”.