CPC is a proud sponsor of champion diver Jack Laugher. In his latest blog post Jack talks about his recent success in the World Championships.
Amongst his many achievements, Jack has become only the second British diver to ever win an individual World Championships medal.
PHOTO CREDIT: PAUL COOPER
My World Championships – Jack Laugher
My World Championships kicked off with a 5am wake up and 6am leave for the long drive down to Heathrow. It felt really cool to have to turn my own flat’s water and electricity off for the first time away. The journey down to Heathrow is always the worst part of the journey, I don’t travel well in cars and 4 hours in one is a nightmare for me! We arrived and had about 2 hours before the flight to Moscow. It is here that we will be having our 1 week pre camp before the World Championships. This facility in Moscow is similar to a prison. We went there before the Russian World Series and it was a cold place with nothing but a hotel and a diving pool for miles so I wasn’t looking forward to going back there! We arrived at Ozero Krguloe in Moscow in the evening around 10pm so it was straight to bed for me. We have one week of training here before heading off to Kazan and with nothing much to do, it was going to be pretty intensive!
Day one had us get used to the pool and dry land and meet the Russian divers again. Training was great whilst I was at this pool, it’s really nice to dive in and is very clean too. Whilst we were in Krugloe we had a couple of cool Russian experiences. We had a Russian BBQ out in the middle of the forest which was very different! It was similar to a UK BBQ but the meat was marinated in Russian spices and sauces then put on a skewer to be cooked. It was very yummy! We also had a Russian spa and sauna experience in which we got in a Sauna and were “massaged” with leaves and branches! It was extremely strange but a very funny memory. Training was going great and I was really looking forward to heading off to Kazan.
We arrived in Kazan and we were staying in the athlete’s village. The village was really cool and it was very different to see athletes from different sports walking around. I absolutely love Kazan and have had some wonderful diving memories from here. I won my first ever senior international medal in Kazan and this year I won gold in the World Series event here. With those good experiences in my head I felt more confident than ever. Chris and I were in great shape and doing some brilliant dives in training too. We had about 6 full days of training before we competed and that was plenty of time to perfect our dives and make ourselves feel as comfortable and as confident as possible. The first competition was the men’s 3m synchronized event. This was the biggest synchro event with 23 pairs entered and unlike the World Series, there were prelims in which you had to qualify for the finals.
It got to the event morning and we were ready. Up at 5:30am to catch the 6:30 bus to the pool. This gave us just short of 4 hours until we were competing so we had plenty of time to get our stuff done nice and early. The warm up was brilliant and we even had time to go to the café for a cup of tea! The competition started and I thought I was going to be nervous but I was surprisingly calm. We had a really good prelim finishing 4th place ahead of the finals with a brilliant last dive to finish off. We had about 4 hours until we had to be back at the pool again so we went back to the village for some food and a quick sleep. Back to the pool again and the crowd was already starting to arrive. The atmosphere was electric when we walked out and it made us feel great to receive support from everyone. The competition started and the headphones went on. I was excited, focused and ready. A good first 2 round saw us in 5th place with the 4 hard dives left to go. Our first optional dive was absolutely great and I got 9s from the judges! The next two rounds were brilliant as well and we were in 3rd place going into the final round. I saw this on the scoreboard and it all hit me that I may become a World Championship medalist! Seeing this brought a lot of nerves but we held through and put in a good final dive to finish off with a PB of 445 points. There were 3 more teams to go for us to find out our placing. It was extremely nerve racking watching the Mexicans go as they were the ones that could knock us out of the medals. They didn’t do a great one and seeing the final results made me light up! We had done what we had dreamed of all this year with the huge set backs we’ve had we were World Championship medalists!
No time to celebrate though as the individual competition was up in 2 days’ time. A day of light training in between the two competitions and I found myself waking up at 5am to get ready for the 6am bus. I felt extremely tired this time after having another early start recently. I felt quite nervous for this competition and with 61 competitors it was going to be a long one. With a prelim like this it is about holding your nerve and just getting through. It took over four hours to complete my 6 dives and I finished in a comfortable 5th place. The semi finals were straight after and I could feel myself getting very worn out. My body was aching and my legs were cramping and I knew it was going to be difficult to dive with my body feeling like this but the medical team helped me through and I put out a good performance finishing 5th again. The two Russians and two Chinese finished above me. Perfect place to be in to apply pressure.
The final was up the next day. I had a well-needed lie in to recover from the day before. I even had an ice bath to try and help my legs feel better. I felt good and excited to compete. My warm up session before the competition was definitely a nervous one and I could tell. Luckily I came to the pool early enough to be able to take a small break to calm myself down and work on some techniques to level myself out. I had a cup of tea and put on some music and I felt slightly better. I was still nervous until the moment I stepped out into the competition introduction. I felt a relief when the crowd cheered. My first dive was a lot better than in the prelims and semi finals and I was off to a good start. My first 3 dives were complete and I was winning so far which was very promising. My new dive was up next and I was a little shaky. A slightly dodgy hurdle step left me over the end of the board forcing my dive forwards making it very fast. It was hard to handle and I slightly dropped it over. I was gutted. I still had 2 dives to bring it back though and with a good last 2 dives I managed to put myself back into contention. With the big 4 divers left to go there was a high chance they were going to beat me. One Russian pipped ahead of me and I slipped into 2nd place. The next Chinese diver went and pushed me into 3rd position with one diver left. This diver had been my rival all this year and I knew he could do a good dive here to knock me out of the medals. He did an average dive and it was the tensest moment of my life waiting for the scoreboard to come up. It felt like hours until it was displayed but it was worth the wait! BRONZE MEDAL! I was so happy and felt like all my hard work had paid off.
Two bronze medals from the Championships and even better, two places for Team GB to the Rio 2016 Olympics.