Gold and Precious Metals

Six Months Out of Two-Year Retirement, Tom Daley Wins Gold for Britain in Mixed Team Diving

2024 World Championships – Diving

Just six months after emerging from a two-year retirement, British Olympic champion Tom Daley punctuated his comeback with a mixed team diving victory on Friday — his first world title in seven years.

Daley clinched gold for Great Britain on the final dive with 19-year-old Andrea Spendolini Sireix, the 2022 world junior champion on 10m. They performed a mixed synchro inward 3 1/2 for 421.65 points, putting the Brits 8.85 ahead of Mexico (412.80) for the win. It was Mexico’s second year in a row taking silver in this event behind the Brits.

“This medal is bittersweet to me,” said Aranza Vasquez, an NCAA champion at North Carolina who was a member of Mexico’s silver-medal mixed team squad. “We know we had a good chance to earn gold. It was a close fight. Each of the three top teams could have won.”

Reigning 10m world champion Cassiel Rousseau and two-time 1m springboard world champion Li Shixin carried Australia to the bronze medal with 385.35 points ahead of Germany (362.05) and the United States (344.75).

Women’s 1M Springboard

In the women’s 1m final on Friday, 22-year-old Australian Alysha Koloi was crowned champion at her Worlds debut with 260.5 points, just a few points ahead of Great Britain’s Grace Reid (257.25) and Egypt’s Maha Amer (257.15).

“I am in a big shock,” Koloi said. “This is a big surprise. I am stoked. This medal on my neck is unbelievably heavy. It is absolutely gorgeous.”

The podium was all newcomers as it was also the first medal for the 27-year-old Reid and 24-year-old Amer.

“A little bit surreal but honestly, I’m just delighted,” said Reid, who jumped from 6th place to 2nd in the final round. “I’ve had a bumpy couple of years. I am finally finding my feet and my rhythm again.”

Amer led through the first three rounds of the five-round affair before Koloi stole the lead with a reverse 1 1/2 with 1 1/2 twists. Amer’s 3rd-place finish marked Egypt’s first-ever Worlds medal in diving. Egypt has still never won silver or gold in any aquatic discipline at Worlds.

“Being so close to a gold medal tonight was like out of this world,” Amer said. “The crowd in the pool rooted for me a little bit too much! That definitely added so much stress [but] we are in an Arab country and it made sense. They wanted me to win and they made me very, very happy.

“I’ve been dreaming about this moment a lot,” Amer added. “I wish I had a little bit more confidence in my diving abilities, but I think staying humble is better.”

Mixed 10m Synchro Platform

After practicing together for just three weeks, 13-year-old Huang Jianjie and 19-year-old Zhang Jiaqi won an incredible mixed 10m synchro gold medal for China on Saturday. It was the sixth world title in a row for China in this event.

“I was very nervous but I actually managed it well,” Huang said. “My family is at home so I am alone. Many times, I feel sad and homesick; I used to cry a lot, but then I realised it is a part of being an athlete. We want to make the Chinese people proud.”

“This medal is very special to me; I like the design,” Zhang said. “We can go home now and celebrate Chinese New Year! We are leaving at midnight. My New Year’s resolution is to find a boyfriend in Paris.”

The Korean pair of Im Yong, 22, and Jo Jin Mi, 19, took silver behind China. Mexico’s Kevin Berlin Reyes and Alejandra Estudillo Torres pulled off a back 2 1/2 with 2 1/2 twists on their final dive to secure bronze with 296.13 points, holding off the U.S. (291.90) and Germany (291.42) for the final spot on the podium.

Men’s 1m Springboard

At just 19 years old, Osmar Olvera Ibarra became first Mexican male world champion in diving on the men’s 1m springboard with 431.75 points, ending a 19-year Chinese winning streak in the event.

“This world title is worth all the efforts,” said Olvera Ibarra, who won two silvers last year in Fukuoka.” It’s a dream come true and extra motivation for what comes next. I want to keep competing well and improving on the road to Paris, so that I can get there in the best shape and become an Olympic medalist.”

Two-time world champion Li Shixin said he felt like “a new champion” after earning silver for Australia at age 35 with 395.70 points.

“Eleven years ago, I became a [two-time world] champion. Now, I feel like I am a new champion. It is a new history. If I retire this year, it’s a very good happy ending for me. I am going to compete on the 3m here and I feel very confident before this competition thanks to these first two days.”

Great Britain’s Ross Haslam rallied back from 7th place to take bronze with 393.10 points.

“It’s insane — probably one of the best medals I’ve ever had in my life,” Haslam said. “Actually, the 3m [event] is the goal; the 1m springboard was just a bonus in order to get ready.

“I used to get so worried about competing and put so much pressure on myself,” Haslam added. “It all got so pointless. Honestly, coaching helped me to stay grounded. Sometimes when I’m nervous, I think, ‘What would I tell one of my divers if they were saying the same things I’m saying to myself?’ Sometimes it is just actually about believing in yourself.”

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