The first gold at the European Diving Championships in Kyiv went to the Germans. They managed to come up with the most balanced performance on the opening day and won the newly shaped mixed team event, edging out the Russians by 4.45 points. Great Britain also opened its account with a bronze.
Medallists, Day 1
Mixed team event
Germany 405.50, 2. Russia 401.05, 3. Great Britain 392.00
Two years after the highly successful first edition, Kyiv welcomed back Europeâ€™s best divers and the first day already saw packed tribunes and a great atmosphere in the Liko Sports Centre.
To add some thrills to the mixed team event, a new format debuted on the opening day of the Europeans. Instead of two divers, four (or in case of all-rounders, three) composed the respective teams and they were required to show dives both from 3m and 10m, individual jumps by the selected male and female divers and, here came the novelty, one synchro dive from both heights.
There were ups and downs for all teams but the Germans who managed to keep their balance throughout the six rounds. The numbers tell the story: their all three platform dives got exactly the same points (68.80) and they didnâ€™t commit any big mistake while showcasing their 3m repertoire including a very fine one from Patrick Hausding. The most decorated athlete of the whole event collected his 30th medal at the Europeans, fittingly, it was a gold.
The Russians, finishing runners-up, did better in the platform but had a slightly â€˜below-parâ€™ dive in the 3m by Ilia Molchanov and even though Viktor Minibaev came up with 81-pointer from 10m, at the and they trailed by 4.45 points behind the winners.
Great Britainâ€™s young talented team got the bronze. Anthony Harding offered the best 3m attempt of the day for 83.60 but the 3m synchro and the first platform dive received low-50s from the judges and that left no chance for the Brits to clinch a shinier medal.
In fact, France almost passed them at the end since Benjamin Auffret came up with the best dive of the afternoon for 86.70 points from the platform and the 10m synchro dive was also a tied first with the Russians. However, the first four werenâ€™t on the same level, leaving the French to gain the 4th place 3.70 points behind the Brits, but well ahead of host Ukraine.
Patrick Hausding (GER), gold
â€œOf course, we are very happy with the medal. With the Olympic ticket in your pocket, you definitely jump with ease here but I had only one dive in the whole competition, and that credit you with 100 per cent responsibility. So thatâ€™s why the pressure is a bit different. We showed a great performance, the competition was stable from start to finish and that makes all of us very satisfied. This one was also â€“ I believe â€“ my 30th European Championship medal but I stopped counting, to be honest. Still, I have a couple of more editions ahead of me so I can add some more.â€
Viktor Minibaev (RUS), silver
“I’m totally satisfied with the silver medal, it’s a good start for the European Championships. We need to work more to get the gold next time, but it was a good event. I’m really thankful for my teammates as well!”
Katherine Torrance (GBR), bronze
â€œThis new format was very exciting, we enjoyed it very much! It was a good start for us, we are pleased with this medal though we had a couple of smaller mistakes which we need to work on to do better in the events coming.â€
For detailed results:
Press release from LEN, photos courtesy of Deepbluemedia / Giorgio Scala