Perfect “dress rehearsal” for Zakharov
Kiev (LEN) – Ilia Zakharov is back on the top. While the Russian kept local heroes Illya Kvasha and Oleg Kolodyi at bay in the 3m final, he also held a perfect dress rehearsal for the upcoming World Championships next month in Budapest. After the 2012 Olympic champion had missed the podium last year at the Europeans in London, today he offered a nearly perfect performance, receiving a total of 525.10 points. Kvasha, already decorated with a gold in the 1m event, came second with 484.30 points, ahead of his compatriot Oleg Kolodyi who clinched bronze with 470.30 points. In the second ever edition of the mixed 10m synchro event Great Britain’s Lois Toulson and Matthew Lee grabbed gold, ahead of Russia and Italy.
“As I had expected it was a great battle with the famous Ukraine divers today,” Ilya Zakharov said. “My dives have been strong and difficult although I made a few mistakes today. At the World Championships in Budapest I would like to fight for gold.”
Silver medallist llya Kvasha was happy with his own performance but also praised compatriot Oleg Kolodyi. These two have another medal chance in the 3m synchro event on Saturday. “Oleg dives well when he’s not nervous,” said Kvasha. Kolodyi’s motivation today partly came from his weaker result in the 1m competition where he finished fourth. “After that I was really angry, and that helped me today. My performance was good, everything worked out. I was not expecting this third place but now I’m very happy, especially as this is my first individual medal in the 3m springboard.” To an amazement of many, Germany’s top diver Patrick Hausding didn’t make the final.
Great Britain’s Lois Toulson and Matthew Lee clinched the title in the mixed 10m synchro after a thrilling and high-quality competition, gaining 308.16 points. Right before the last round only 2.14 points separated the first three pairs. “It was a good competition for us today”, Matthew Lee said. “My partner Lois Toulson is very pleased now as a double champion here in Kiev.” Russia’s Iuliia Timoshinina and Viktor Minibaev (300.30 points) came second while the Italian duo Maicol Verzotto and Noemi Batki (299.58 points) earned the bronze.
“It seems that I’m an expert for mixed contests in our team. After winning gold in the 3m event, this is the second medal in the mixed competitions,” Maicol Verzotto said. “We have entered the event with the aim of coming up with our best possible performance. The quality of the other duos’ dives was mostly high. We knew we had to do a very good job and we did that.”
Medal table (after 9 of 13 competitions)
Press release from LEN, images courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala