Shock victory for twins

City of Leeds pair Helen and Carol Galashan took their first gold medal by storming to victory in the women’s ten-metre synchro event at the British Championships in Ponds Forge, Sheffield.

The twins defeated Olympic pair Stacie Powell and Tonia Couch after debuting their new dive – the armstand back double somersault one-and-a-half twists in free position, which is one of the hardest dives in the world.

In the second round, the Galashans scored nines for synchronisation as they moved into first place and scored 69.12 points for their 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 285.90.

“We are really happy to have won,” said Helen Galashan. “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 here. 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 262.92.

Olympian Rebecca Gallantree (City of Leeds) took an impressive victory in the women’s one-metre final.

She looked strong throughout the rounds and although she missed her third round dive (reverse two-and-a-half somersaults piked), Gallantree took the gold medal with 231.25 points.

However, she was required to get 240 points to put herself within the recommended points score for the World Championships, so missed out by just nine points.

Silver went to Jodie McGroarty (City of Sheffield) with 217.50 and bronze to Elizabeth Heald (City of Sheffield) with 210.50.

In the men’s one-metre event, Oliver Dingley (Harrogate District) retained his title after performing well through the preliminaries and semi-finals and he stepped up in the final to take gold by just one point.

Dingley finished with 324.20, just missing out on the recommended score for the World Championship squad of 330 points.

Silver went to Tom Owens (City of Sheffield) with 323.15 and bronze to Callum Johnstone (City of Leeds) with 322.15.

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