Source: Team GB

Diving gold and silver add to taekwondo bronze for Team GB

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Tokyo 2020 Olympian Eden Cheng landed European Games gold in the women’s 10m platform this evening to secure a quota place for Team GB at Paris 2024.

Day three also saw James Heatly and Grace Reid land Team GB’s first silver medal of the Games in the mixed 3m synchro, while Maddison Moore took bronze in taekwondo’s -49kg category. World, European and British records were broken in archery by Ella Gibson and Penny Healey, and Team GB’s first ever male sport climbers reached the quarter finals in the men’s speed.

Eden Cheng delivered on her top qualifier billing to win Team GB’s second gold medal of the Games. She came to the fore in the final round with a sublime Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists Pike taking her to a winning total of 331.60 points.

“Very happy, slightly relieved, a bit emotional – I’m feeling a lot of emotions right now!” said Cheng

“I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to be selected for this team and to be in the competition amongst friends and fierce competitors. It’s boosting my confidence and showing me that my resilience is still at a very high level through the rollercoaster of competition.”

“I felt a bit of extra pressure [after the prelims] and it didn’t help that everyone was then diving so well this evening. So yeah there was pressure, but for me there’s an advantage diving after someone as it gives me motivation that I want to do it better and that spurred me on.”

Grace Reid and James Heatly’s silver adds to the pair’s collection of World, European and Commonwealth medals from last year. Going into their final dive, they had been nudged just outside of the medal standings, but landed a stunning Inward 2 1/2 Somersaults Pike under pressure for 65.70 points to propel themselves back onto the second rung of the podium.

“The Mixed 3m is a really good event because every pairing there has a possibility of winning,” said Reid.

“I think everyone sat here at this table on the podium knew that they were in with a chance so that makes it a really exciting event – today Italy dived so well and really deserved the gold. James and I really enjoyed the event, pleased with silver, obviously would have loved to have won but we’ve both got a couple more events to come and still super excited.”

On the first day of the taekwondo programme, three athletes made it through to bronze medal matches but it was Team GB debutant Maddison Moore who landed a spot on the podium in the -49kg category. With her parents cheering from the stands, Moore battled Israel’s Abishag Semberg to take the win across three tightly-fought rounds.

A delighted Moore commented immediately after her victory: “I’ve been to so many events in the past five years of my career and I haven’t actually come out where I wanted to. Although it wasn’t the win that I wanted today… I’m taking bronze, baby!”

In the archery ranking rounds, Ella Gibson broke a World Record with a score of 715 in the Women’s Individual Compound, while teammate Penny Healey shot 681 in the Women’s Recurve to smash her own British and U21 European records as well as the European Games record.

“It feels amazing, I’m actually shaking with excitement and nerves right now,” said 18-year-old Healey, who is currently senior world number one.

“My goal for this year was to beat my PB and I’ve now done it halfway through the year. Hopefully I can perform this well all week – it’s a great way to start.”

Overall, the women’s recurve team of Healey, Bryony Pitman and Jess Sagoo progress to the elimination rounds ranked in third place, the mixed recurve team of Healey and Monty Orton progress in second, and the men’s recurve team of Orton, Alex Wise and James Woodgate progress in fifth. Quota places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are on the line in all three events.

And in sport climbing Rafe Stokes and Matthew Fall became the first male sport climbers to represent Team GB.

Fall said: “That was incredible. Honestly. To be part of this multisport Games is just incredible. It’s the first time any male Team GB athlete has been part of sport climbing so that was really special. You’re only the first once!

“I got off to a bit of a shaky start to say the least but total emotional rollercoaster to make it through that round of 16. In the round of 16 I thought I’d lost because Mateo [Zurloni], he’s an absolute legend in the sport and one of the fastest on the scene right now, and I didn’t realise I’d taken the win until I was about halfway down.”

Stokes added: “Today was incredible. I’m a little disappointed in my quarter final performance but that’s how it goes when you’re on the circuit like this. Falls, slips happen – that’s the beauty of sport climbing. I trust my training, I’ve done this a million times, I’ve worked so so hard in the past, I can just do what I do normally, run my run, and whatever happens, happens.”

“I’m ecstatic about where the sport is going, I’m absolutely ecstatic. To see that we’re our own thing, it’s growing in popularity and in competition, it’s beautiful to see.”

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