Second Olympic Youth Festival medal is a pleasant surprise for Sam Thornton

Sam Thornton, second left, celebrates his silver medal in the three-metre synchro with Freddie Woodward

Sam Thornton, second left, celebrates his silver medal in the three-metre synchro with Freddie Woodward

First published in Sport by

Baildon diver Sam Thornton insisted no-one was more surprised than him after he returned from the Australian Youth Olympic Festival with two medals to declare at customs.

The 16-year-old was back in action at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre on Saturday, 24 hours after he claimed three-metre synchro silver with Freddie Woodward.

This time Thornton went it alone in the ten-metre platform event but he failed to trouble for a medal as he finished down in sixth with an overall score of 476.75 points.

However, all was not lost and he had one final chance on Sunday to double his medal tally as he teamed up with Ross Haslam in the ten-metre synchro.

And he did exactly that, the pair claiming an impressive bronze after being thrown together at the last minute with Thornton’s regular partner Josh Dowd, from Leeds, ruled out with a shoulder injury.

And Thornton, who attends Woodhouse Grove School, admitted it took them even by surprise when they found themselves on the podium.

“The synchro event with Ross was a brilliant way to finish for me, another medal at a Youth Olympics is fantastic,” said Thornton.

“It was actually the first time we had competed in the synchro and we thought that we would just put together a simple list of dives but we got a bronze medal out of it.

“We put together a really great performance and I am really pleased to have a medal to show because we worked hard to get it ready and right in time.

“The whole festival was a really good experience. There were lots of things to take away and learn and it will make me a better diver for sure “To have a silver and a bronze to show for my efforts is fantastic.”

And, after exceeding his own expectations Down Under, Thornton insists the sky is the limit in terms of his 2013 aspirations.

“I was coming to the Australian Youth Olympic Festival mainly for the experience and to set new personal bests, which is what I have done,” he added.

“But to have won two medals too gives me so much confidence that I will take into the senior British Championships next month and hopefully I can keep this up.”

* The British Olympic Association prepare and lead British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games.

They work in partnership with sport national governing bodies to enhance Olympic success and are responsible for championing the Olympic values – www.olympics.org.uk.

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