French strike gold, second time after 2012
Slight surprise on the first competition day: the French duo of Laura Marino and Matthieu Rosset won the opening event of the 2017 European Diving Championships in Kiev, Ukraine. With 372.40 points to their name, the French duo pushed host Ukraine to the second place. Viktoriya Kesar and Oleksandr Gorshkovozov, representing the host nation, captured the silver once again, with 366.55 points for their three respective dives, while a total of 366.10 points gave Nadezhda Bazhina and Viktor Minibaev (Russia) the bronze medal.
The Russian duo missed to retain their title, which would have been their fourth gold at Europeans in a row. Instead, they had to settle for bronze, trailing to Ukraine by a really tiny margin of 0.45 points. For France, it was the second medal ever clinched in the team event after 2012 – and both times it was a gold.
“We just wanted to have fun at the starting day of these European Championships in Ukraine. And we succeeded,” French Matthieu Rosset said after the victory. “Of course, you need some experience for this competition. But I think that we performed very well today. In any case, this was a great start of the competitions here.”
Local hero Oleksandr Gorshkovozov was also satisfied with the silver medal. “This was a good start of the vhampionships in our home country. Actually we would even more potential, but due to some injuries I did not have enough time to train.” Gorshkovozov, who won European silver together with Iuliia Prokopchuk in 2014 and 2016, but today competed with a new partner Viktoriya Kesar, was happy with the locals’ support. “The spectators have supported us very well. It was really great fun to jump in front of this audience.”
Prior to the first event, LEN Vice-President Andrei Vlaskov officially declared the championships open. “I thank the Ukrainian Diving Federation for their continuous support of the sport of diving in Kiev,” Vlaskov said.
Medal table (after Day 1)
Press release from LEN, images courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala