Toulson springs a surprise on mighty Chinese

Lois Toulson of Great Britain won gold in the 10m platform yesterday, with China settling for second and third.
Lois Toulson of Great Britain won gold in the 10m platform yesterday, with China settling for second and third.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

With a rampant China team sweeping all five gold medals available so far at the Fina Diving Grand Prix, a plucky Brit went for the spectacular and broke the stranglehold by winning the sixth event at the Fina Diving Grand Prix.

Having dominated the boards since Friday, the Chinese were finally stunned by Great Britain's Lois Toulson, who edged out two Chinese in the women's 10m platform final yesterday at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

The 16-year-old's final dive was the deciding factor as she brilliantly executed a backward two and a half somersaults with one and a half twists, which had a difficulty level of 3.2, giving her a total score of 345.25. She beat Wang Han to the gold by 2.55 points. Wang Ying was third (302.60).

The women's 10m platform final was a keenly contested one, with divers like 2012 Olympic silver medallist Brittany Broben of Australia, as well as Wang Han and Wang Ying who had won gold in Friday's women synchronised 10m platform, in the mix.

However, Toulson had credentials too, having won the same event at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan this year.

But the Briton herself was stunned by her victory, saying: "I wasn't expecting to win at all.

"I was hoping for a medal but I didn't expect it to be gold."

Even if she had low expectations, Toulson was not about to let her rivals walk away as her strategy involved putting her favourite routine as her last. She said: "I put it at the end because it was more of a safe dive. I just tried to keep calm and do my best."

Although there was no clean sweep yesterday, the Chinese won both the women's synchronised 3m springboard through Wu Chun Ting and Xu Zhi Huan (287.10) and the men's 3m platform through Peng Jian Feng (515.70).

However, Wu wanted more, saying: "I think we performed normally but, in terms of technique, we still need to improve so I am not too satisfied."

There was a mighty battle for silver in the men's 3m platform as China's Zhong Yu Ming's score of 390.85 was only 0.15 ahead of Australia's Matthew Carter. The 15-year old Carter said: "I'm a little disappointed about missing out on silver but I'm really happy about how I performed today. Just to be able to compete against men who are older than you is amazing."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2015, with the headline 'Toulson springs a surprise on mighty Chinese'. Print Edition | Subscribe