Jack Laugher earns second gold of Commonwealth Games with Anthony Harding in 3m synchro final

Anthony Harding and Jack Laugher during the synchronised 3m springboard final

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Jack Laugher collected his second gold medal of these Commonwealth Games as he and England teammate Anthony Harding dominated the synchronised 3m springboard final.

Laugher and Harding were leading after the opening two mandatory dives and then motored into the distance with their final four dives, set at a much higher degree of difficulty than the rest. Malaysia’s Gabriel Gilbert Daim and Muhammad Syafiq Bin Puteh won silver as Australia’s Samuel Fricker and Shixin Li – who finished second to Laugher’s gold in the 1m springboard final on Thursday – won bronze.

The 27-year-old Laugher and 22-year-old Harding are at different stages of their career, and while Laugher was pleased to collect the seventh Commonwealth title of his impressive career, he was just as delighted to see his junior teammate earn a first global title, having won silver together at the World Championships in Budapest earlier this year where they pushed China hard.

Laugher won Olympic gold in Rio alongside Chris Mears six years ago before Mears retired to focus on his music career, and this new partnership is showing similar promise; they will be serious medal contenders come the Paris Olympics in two years’ time.

“Me and Tony are good friends, we’ve got a lot in common, our diving styles are very similar,” Laugher told the BBC after the final. “Tony was talking about me selecting him – he deserves this, he’s a great athlete and he’s finally got his chance and he’s grabbed hold of it.

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“That’s something I need in my career, someone with that motivation and drive to want to be the best and keep my fire ignited. I’ve been doing this for a long time and having someone new on the scene, raring to go, I think it’s really good. The synchro partnership is obviously great, we’ve done some amazing performances this year, and I just can’t wait for the future.”

Harding and Laugher in action during the synchronised 3m springboard final

The moment the home crowd knew for certain the English duo had sewn up gold came in round five when they produced an immaculate forward 4 1/2 somersaults to earn a towering score of 88.92. Malaysia’s Yiwei Chew and The Liang Ooi were on course for silver until disaster struck on their fifth dive when Chew clipped the board with his toes on the way down. They were penalised heavily with a score of only 40.5, letting in their less-fancied Malaysian teammates to climb on to the podium.

Scotland’s Ross Beattie and James Heatly – whose grandfather Sir Peter Heatly won 1m springboard gold at the Vancouver 1954 Commonwealth Games – finished fourth, only five points shy of a medal.

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