Sam Thornton bags major scalp as he wins first senior national diving title

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sam Thornton combined with James Heatly to win the men's three-metro synchro title at Southend Sam Thornton combined with James Heatly to win the men's three-metro synchro title at Southend

Former Bradford Esprit ace Sam Thornton claimed the major scalp of Tom Daley in taking his first national senior title.

Thornton, who now competes on behalf of City of Leeds, formed a new partnership with James Heatley (Edinburgh Diving) to win the men’s three-metre synchro crown at the British Gas National Cup in Southend.

Heatly and Thornton performed a solid list of dives in the last event of the first day’s competition to score a gold-medal winning 377.76 points.

“We’re really happy because it’s the first time we’ve really competed together and it’s a list we’ve put together recently and it’s gone well and we’re over the moon,” Thornton said.

Heatly added: “With Tom Daley and Jack Laugher competing, we really weren’t expecting to be at the top of the podium in this, and it’s a great result.”

Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley - who has just split from his coach, former Bradford Council diving supremo Andy Banks - and Dan Goodfellow (Plymouth Diving) opened their competition with silver with a promising score of 373.83.

With Chris Mears out of competition with an injury, Laugher competed alongside James Denny but a couple of dropped dives meant they took the bronze with 372.93.

Thornton clubmates were, as usual, making other waves in terms of medals, with Alicia Blagg’s impressive return from injury resulting in a gold medal in the women’s one-metre springboard.

An exciting men’s one-metre springboard final was won by Laugher, with Denny third, while new pairing Rebecca Gallantree and Lois Toulson won the women’s ten-metre synchro.

On day two, Laugher won the three-metre men’s springboard for the third successive year, while clubmate, Jamaican Yona Knight-Wisdom, took silver as a guest.

A confident Lydia Rosenthall and Katherine Torrance won the women’s three-metre synchro, with Matty Lee bagging silver in the men’s ten-metre synchro with Goodfellow.

On the final day, Denny and Lee took the minor placings behind Daley in the men’s ten-metre platform, and Gallantree won the women’s three-metre springboard, with 15-year old European junior silver medallist Rosenthall picking up a bronze.

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