A day of surprises
Great Britain’s Lois Toulson stunned many by winning the women’s platform title and few would have guessed that the Italian pair of Elena Bertocchi and Maicol Verzotto would claim the gold medal in the mixed 3m synchro.
As none of the 2016 medallists, including 5-time winner Iuliia Prokopchuk from Ukraine were present in Kiev, it was Lois Toulson from Great Britain who grabbed the chance and jumped into the footsteps of her predecessor. With 330.70 points to her name, the Brit won the women’s platform event leaving her Russian rivals Anna Chuinyshena (326.90 points) and Iuliia Timoshinina (313.30 points) to settle for the minor spoils.
“To be honest, I did not expect this victory. But I’ve been training very hard recently and was able to improve my dives,” Toulson said happily after the victory.
Iuliia Timoshinina celebrated her first ever international medal in an individual event, still, she wasn’t in an upbeat mood after finishing behind newcomer Anna Chuinyshena. „I wanted to win this competition,“ Timoshinina said. “Now I’m a bit disappointed that I was good only for third place but nevertheless a medal is fine.“ Her compatriot was over the Moon after capturing her “first medal at elite level.” The 17 year-old Chuinyshena also said: “In contrary to the preliminaries in the morning, when I was very excited, I am just happy now.”
Earlier on Tuesday the second gold in the history of 3m mixed synchro went to Italy. Elena Bertocchi, 1m silver medallist in London 2016, and Maicol Verzotto took the title with 287.88 points. Similar to the first competition day, host Ukraine once again finished runner-up with Viktoriya Kesar and Stanislav Oliferchyk gaining 282.96 points. Germany won its first medal in Kiev, courtesy of Tina Punzel and international newcomer Lou Massenberg, they took bronze with 281.40 points.
Our goal was, of course, a medal. We knew we were facing a tough competition but in the end we were a bit better” Maicol Verzotto said. The German youngster Lou Massenberg was also delighted: „To win a medal at your first European Championships at the age of 16 is really great. I was really surprised when I was asked a few weeks ago whether I would like to do this competition and especially with whom I want to partner with. I could choose that by myself. I chose Tina Punzel and that was certainly a good decision!”
Medal table (after Day 2)
Press release from LEN, images courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala