- By Nick Hope
Aquatics correspondent in Rijeka
Britain’s Jorden Fisher-Eames successfully defended his Boys B platform title with an impressive victory at the European Junior Diving Championships in Croatia.
Also standing on the top step of the podium on the fourth day of Rijeka 2023 were Italy’s Viola Bellato (Girls B 1m) and Ukrainian duo Kyrylo Azarov and Masksym Mirza (Boys A/B 3m synchro).
15-year-old Fisher-Eames follows team-mate OIiver Heath in claiming gold at this year’s championships, after he took the Boys B 1m crown on day two of the event.
Ukrainian Mark Hrytsenko had led after opening of the four rounds in the final and he as well as Fisher-Eames both performed high-class routines, which each scored over 80 points, in the second.
The British diver showed the greater consistency in the following two though to secure an overall total of 467.95, with Hrytsenko (446.75) second.
Raffaele Pelligra (369.80) of Italy rounded off the podium placed with a hard-earned bronze.
“I’m amazed and couldn’t have done anything else today,” said Fisher-Eames, who also won silver in the Boys A/B synchro platform final earlier in the event.
“I had a fantastic opponent in Mark (Hrytsenko)and he pushed me hard, but I did everything I could and I want to thank my coaches for all their help getting me here.”
Hrytsenko added; “I did not perform my best dives today, but congratulations to team Great Britain who dived really well and today he won, but I will come back and aim to win this European Championship in the future.”
Mateg Nevešćanin made history on Monday by claiming the host nation’s first-ever European Junior Diving gold medal and he was on course to secure a second alongside team-mate Luka Martinović in the 3m synchronised final.
However, an error in the penultimate round saw their challenge fade and they would finish fourth.
Ukraine’s Azarov and Mirza, who had remained in contention throughout, seized their opportunity and closed out a strong performance with a score of 71.61 in the final round to give them an overall total of 299.49.
It saw them narrowly edge ahead of Italian duo Matteo Santoro and Matteo Cafiero (299.34) who were second, with Great Britain’s Euan McCabe and Leon Baker (298.53) third.
“We are thankful to our team and our coaches that we had this opportunity to represent Ukraine and we are proud to win this medal for our country,” Azarov said after the final.
Santoro, who won bronze in the Boys B 1m event on Monday added; “I was so excited for this final but it was not easy because he (Cafiero) lives in Milan and I’m in Rome so we have not had much time to practice, so this makes us very happy.”
Britain’s Baker was also delighted with his performance alongside McCabe; “This is our debut competition working together and what a result,” he told LEN.
The Girls B 1m final also delivered great diving drama for the fans at the Kantrida Swimming Pool complex venue.
Vanessa Röhniß of Germany and Italian Beatrice Gallo both delivered dives which scored over the ‘magic’ 50-point mark, but they would have to settled for silver and bronze respectively following overall totals of 301,85 and 298.35.
Viola Bellato – also of Italy – taking the title (312.10) after showing greater consistency across the morning preliminaries and the three dives she performed in the final.
“I have never won before and it’s my first competition in Europe and my first win, so I’m very happy,” Bellato told LEN.
Silver medallist Röhniß added; “Some of my dives could have been better, but I’m really proud of how I performed and how hard I worked for this.”