Commonwealth Games: Ripon’s Jack Laugher makes golden start

Jack Laugher
Jack Laugher

Ripon’s Jack Laugher made a perfect start to his Commonwealth Games to clinch a first senior international gold medal on Wednesday evening.

Laugher obliterated the field in his weakest event, the 1m springboard, with a succession of incredible dives and rip entries to the water.

His final score of 449.90 from his six fives was more than 40 points clears of silver medallist Matthew Mitcham of Australia.

After scoring 67.50 for both his first two dives, the Ripon star stepped up his form, and the dive difficulty to total four scores of over 75.

His best dive came in the fourth round, when his inward two and a half somersault in the pike position landed him 81.60pts.

The 19-year-old will return to the Royal Commonwealth Pool on Thursday for a second chance to win gold in his preferred 3m springboard competition.

He will then have a third chance to claim a memorable medal haul alongside Chris Mears in the 3m synchro on Friday.

Laugher said he was “ridiculously happy” after winning gold ahead of Mitcham (404.85) and Grant Nel (403.40).

“It’s amazing to come away with gold. I’m ridiculously happy. It’s not even my main event,” he said.

“Diving last you come out and see the scoreboard and see where you’re placed. Diving last everyone was putting the pressure on me, but I think I handled it really well. To come away with a personal best and gold medal is just fantastic.”