Kvasha sends the locals to seventh heaven
Kiev (LEN) – A seventh European title for Illya Kvasha on 1m, seventh heaven for the local fans. This is the balance after host Ukraine got the first gold at the 2017 European Diving Championships. Kvasha finished atop in his “living room”, at the Sport Centre LIKO as he took the lead after the fourth dive and claimed gold with a total of 431.75 points in a thrilling competition. Great Britain stroke another gold, this time in the women’s 10m synchro.
Behind the local hero came two former winners, Patrick Hausding (2014) from Germany and Matthieu Rosset (2015) from France. They fought a hot duel for silver and bronze respectively. After the fourth round only 0.1 points separated them. In the end, credit to a strong last dive, Hausding secured silver with 419.80 points. Rosset won his second medal in Kiev after taking gold in the team event on the opening day, this time a bronze with 412.95 points.
“That was my seventh European title on the 1 m springboard since 2008,” said Kvasha. “The support of the audience helped me a lot. Coming to the end of the competition I knew that I was leading. But I only realised after the last dive that I had won. I hope I can repeat this performance in my next events here.”
After the misfortune on the first competition day with his blackout in the team event, Patrick Hausding was happy with the silver: “I’ve showed difficult dives and can be satisfied with my performance today. To beat Illya Kvasha in front of his home crowd is almost impossible. He is an institution and his victory was absolutely deserved.” Bronze medallist Matthieu Rosset was also satisfied with his performance: “Today we had a really good and great final, although it was a bit difficult for me to compete right after Illya Kvasha. My jumping phase was not quite optimal today. On the other hand, the diving phase was much better than in the past.”
In a close competition, British divers Ruby Bower and Phoebe Banks grabbed the synchro platform gold with a total of 299.19 points. The young duo took the lead after the fourth of the five dives. Earning only two points less, Russia’s Iuliia Timoshinina, together with her new partner Valeriia Belova, claimed the silver medal (297.00 points), while Ukraine’s Valeriia Liulko and Sofiia Lyskin were able to win bronze (288.96) in the first big final of their careers.
“This was an exciting competition with a completely surprising end for us”, Brit Ruby Banks said. “As the youngest duo today, we would never have expected to win, especially since this was one of our first synchro competitions together.” The Ukrainians, who had flirted with the silver medal, had to settle for the bronze in the end. „We were very nervous, that’s why we made some stupid mistakes. Otherwise we could have made it to second place. While the competition was running, we didn’t look at the scoreboard, but focused only on ourselves.”
Medal table (after 5 of 13 competitions)
Press release from LEN, images courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala