City of Leeds divers Helen and Carol Galashan took their first gold medal as they stormed to victory in the women’s 10m synchro event at the British Diving Championships 2009 (incorporating the asa National Championship) in Sheffield.
The Galashan twins took the victory from Olympic diving pair Stacie Powell and Tonia Couch after debuting their new dive the Armstand Back Double Somersault 1 ½ Twists in Free Position which is one of the hardest dives in the world.
The second round saw the Galashans (City of Leeds) score nines for their synchronisation as they moved into first place. The girls took a total of 69.12 points for their armstand dive to move further into the lead.
They took their gold medal with a final score of 299.76 finishing ahead of Powell (Southampton Diving) and Couch (Plymouth Diving) who took the silver with a total of 285.90.
“We are really happy to have won,” Helen Galashan said. “It was really unexpected because we came here just hoping to do as well as we could. There were some of the dives that could have been performed better but it was good to have a hit out.
“We are pleased with the Back Armstand dive. It can be a bit hit and miss but it came off today. It gets a lot of attention because it is a really hard dive to perfect. We have put a lot of hard work into the dive and we still need to work on it to make it more consistent but it will get there.”
The bronze medal went to Suzanne Collins and Saffron Sutcliffe (City of Leeds) with a score of 262.92.
Olympic 3m synchro pair Ben Swain and Nicholas Robinson-Baker (City of Sheffield) unveiled three new dives at the British Championships and they scored consistently to take the national title for the second year running.
Swain and Robinson-Baker looked in charge of the event from their first dive and although they dropped marks in their Inward 3 ½ Somersault Tucked and the Reverse 2 ½ Somersaults 1 ½ Twists Piked they remained in the lead because of the increased tariff on the dives.
The Olympic finalists finished with their Forward 2 ½ Somersaults 2 Twists Piked and scored a total of 76.50 to take the gold with a total score of 365.28.
“It was great to get out there and compete for the first time since Beijing,” Swain said. “Our new dives were ok and we know what we need to do to make sure we score higher when we use them next time.
“We have been doing a lot of weight work and fitness training to make sure we can continue to compete on an international stage.”
The 1m event saw athletes trying to put themselves in contention for qualification to the World Championship squad. They were required to finish first or second in the final and achieve a recommended score or degree of difficulty.
Olympian Rebecca Gallantree (City of Leeds) took an impressive victory in the women’s 1m final. She looked strong throughout the rounds and although she missed her third round dive (Reverse 2 ½ Somersaults Piked) she took the gold medal with 231.25 points.
Gallantree was required to get 240 points to put herself within the recommended point score for the World Championships and so missed out with just nine points.
Silver went to Jodie McGroarty (City of Sheffield) with a total score of 217.50. Bronze went to Elizabeth Heald (City of Sheffield) with a total score of 210.50.
photos Janos Schmidt