Host Ukraine takes lead in the medal table – Historical first medal for Switzerland
Kiev (LEN) – “Hopp Schwyz”, Michelle Heimberg caused the sensation on the fourth competition day in Kiev winning a “historical silver” in the 3m springboard and the first ever medal for Switzerland in the history of European Diving Championships. After five jumps the 17-year-old Heimberg (293.25 points) finished just ten points behind the new European champion Anna Pysmenska (303.30 points), who achieved her first individual title. The bronze went to her compatriot Anna Nedobiga with 291.65 points. The hosts’ treasury got a fine boost this day as the men’s synchro platform title also went to Ukraine, ahead of Russia and Great Britain. With their first European gold in the synchro event, Oleksandr Gorshkovozov and Maksym Dolgov also secured Ukraine’s lead in the medal table after seven of altogether 13 events.
“It’s just incredible that I won a medal here. Especially because I was only eleventh in the preliminary and just slipped into the final”, an overjoyed Michelle Heimberg said. “Making the final was my goal but I really wasted no thoughts on a medal. I slowly understand what I have achieved. Some people have already told me that this is the very first diving medal in the history of Switzerland.”
Anna Pysmenska was more than happy with her first individual gold: “Beforehand I won medals only in synchronized diving events, today this was my first individual medal,” she said. “When I saw my coach, she smiled. In that very moment I knew I won. The competition was strong but today I managed to perform 90 percent of my dives right and got more points than expected. In the past I listened too little to the advices of my coach. Now I started to listen and that finally paid off. I really enjoyed the atmosphere here at the pool.”
In the first final of the day Ukraine’s Oleksandr Gorshkovozov and Maksym Dolgov opened a new chapter and took the title in the 10m synchro as they were a cut above the rest (431.29). Russia’s Nikita Shleikher with new partner Aleksandr Belevtsev (406.56 points) came second while the young Brits Noah Williams and Matthew Dixon (388.05 points) earned the bronze. Gorshkovozov and Dolgov virtually emerged from the giant shadows of their predecessors Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding. Since 2008 the German duo, who did not compete in Kiev, won the European title nine times in a row.
„We are overwhelmed by this victory. A big thank you goes to the fans. They supported us and gave us a lot of power today. We’ve been waiting for this victory a long time. The fact that we could live through that in front of a home crowd is even more than great,“ said Maksym Dolgov, who now has big plans for his 21st birthday to be celebrated on Friday. “Another medal in the mixed synchro platform would be a perfect gift then.”
Medal table (after 7 of 13 competitions)
Press release from LEN, images courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala