12 Aug 2018

Russia's Bondar reigns supreme on 10m platform while Italy surprise in women's 3m synchro

Russia's Aleksandr Bondar reigned supreme to recapture the 10m platform crown while Italy's Elena Bertocchi/Chiara Pellacani surprised in the women's 3m synchronised springboard as the diving competition wrapped up at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh on Sunday.

Russia's Aleksandr Bondar reigned supreme to recapture the 10m platform crown while Italy's Elena Bertocchi/Chiara Pellacani surprised in the women's 3m synchronised springboard as the diving competition wrapped up at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh on Sunday.

Russia topped the final medal table with 12 in total.

Bondar had already won the preliminary round in the morning and was untouchable in the final, winning with 60.90 points to spare ahead of team-mate Nikita Shleikher.

Bondar scored 542.05 points and earned 104.40 points alone for a spectacular back three-and-a-half somersaults dive.

"I have not competed at the European championships in the past years so this really nice," said Bondar, who also took the 10m synchronised platform earlier this week. He was European champion in 2013 in this event, competing for his native Ukraine.

Defending champion Benjamin Auffret (FRA), who was handicapped by a back injury and resumed full practice only when he came to Edinburgh, took the bronze on 480.60 points. "It's not gold, but it's still magical," the Frenchman said.

Earlier, Bertocchi and Pellacani triumphed in the women's 3m synchronised springboard.

Bertocchi/Pellacani ranked fifth in the first round but then delivered one solid dive after the other to take the title with 289.26 points.

It was a happy end for Bertocchi, who struggled with an injury to her left leg, but nevertheless claimed a bronze in the 1m springboard.

"We weren't expecting it," she said. "Absolutely not. We have to say it was luck. This is the good part of diving. One day you are crying and the next day you can be celebrating

"After three days of hard work, and even some prayers, my leg was feeling better so I competed from the 1m springboard. Then yesterday's 3m springboard [in which she finished the final in last position] was tough. Today there was no pressure."

Lena Hentschel/Tina Punzel (GER) earned the silver medal with consistent performances and 286.80 points. Punzel takes home a full set of medals from the European championships, having earlier won gold in the mixed synchronised and taken bronze in the 3m springboard.

Nadezhda Bazhina/Kristina Ilinykh (RUS) captured the bronze when the leading pair Grace Reid and Katherine Torrance of Great Britain made an error on their last dive and dropped to fourth overall.