What a difference 0.75 points can make
Kiev (LEN) â€“ It could hardly be more exciting. Only 0.75 points decided between gold and silver in the menâ€™s 3m synchro event at the 2017 European Diving Championships in Kiev on the penultimate competition day. With a world-class performance and 427.71 points to their credit Russiaâ€™s Evgenii Kuznetsov and Ilia Zakharov captured gold and their sixth European title in this event. Local heroes Illya Kvasha and Oleg Kolodiy (426.96 points) earned silver, while Britainâ€™s Frederick Woodward and James Heatly (395.61) snatched the bronze medal with their last dive, ahead of Germanyâ€™s Patrick Hausding and Stephan Feck who finished only 2.22 points (393.39) behind. In the womenâ€™s 1m Italian Elena Bertocchi followed compatriot â€˜Diving Queenâ€™ Tania Cagnotto and grabbed the gold with 282.80 points. Russiaâ€™s Nadezhda Bazhina came second (277.35 points), a surprising bronze went to Louisa Stawczynski from Germany (271.80 points).
â€œAs we expected, the Ukrainians were really tough opponents today,â€ Evgenii Kuznetsov said. â€œWe have noticed only in the very last moment that we are less than one point ahead in the final account. We can be satisfied with our performance.â€
Although it was the first medal earned together by Illya Kvasha and Oleg Kolodiy in a synchro event, Kvasha was at least â€œa litte bit disappointedâ€ with the second place. â€œThe Russians were very strong today. Our third dive was not quite successful, but we have to consider that it was only our first competition togetherâ€ he said.
The medallists received their awards from Kiev mayor Vitalii Klichko, the former boxing world champion followed the competition on site, in the company of several hundred fans in the Sports Centre LIKO who filled the stands entirely.
â€œThatâ€™s definitely great,â€ gold medallist Elena Bertocchi said after winning thw 1m event. â€œMy goal was to win a medal here in Kiev. Now Iâ€™ve got two gold out of two competitions.â€ Russiaâ€™s Nadezhda Bazhina was also delighted with her performance. â€œMy dives today were stable and after winning the 3m title at the 2010 Europeans in Budapest I can go back to the city with a positive attitude regarding the World Championships next month.â€
Germanyâ€™s Louisa Stawczynski was just happy with her first European medal after a â€œnerve-racking competitonâ€. She added, â€œIâ€™m always nervous before the competition, but today it was very bad. My goal was a 6th place as in the previous year. I clearly exceeded this goal.â€
Medal table (after 11 of 13 competitions)
Press release from LEN, images courtesy of Deepbluemedia/Giorgio Scala