- By Nick Hope
Aquatics correspondent in Rijeka
Ukraine’s Karina Hlizhina claimed her second gold medal in as many days, adding the Girls’ B 3m springboard title to the 2023 European Junior Diving Championship Mixed Team Event victory on Saturday.
Her team-mates Diana Shevchenko and Alisa Mieshkova also claimed gold in the Girls’ A/B synchronised platform event, while Espen Prenzyna and Ole Johannes Rösler of Germany won the Boys’ equivalent.
Great Britain Oliver Heath was the other Rijeka 2023 champion on day two in Croatia; impressively securing the 1m springboard Boys’ B crown.
Over 300 14–18-year-old divers are participating in 17 medal events during seven days of competition in Croatia’s third-largest city, with those aged 14-15 placed in B Group and 16–18-year-olds in the A Group disciplines.
Hlyshina had only qualified for the final in fourth and with five scores from the preliminaries carried forward into the medal showdown, rivals from Italy, Germany and Great Britain were likely to provide significant challenges.
So it would prove, with Italy’s Beatrice Gallo the strongest of the contenders, but she would finish in second with an overall total of 333.70, behind Hlyshina’s score of 341.35.
Rounding off the podium places was Elly Ekebäck of Sweden (319.50), who edged German’s Nina Berger (318.10) into fourth.
Britain’s Heath continued his nation’s proud diving tradition by claiming his maiden international honour with European 1m junior gold on the second day of competition.
The teenager hails from the same part of the UK as his nation’s Olympic champion Tom Daley – Plymouth – and he produced an impressive display achieve a total of 376.55.
Lithuanian Martynas Lisauskas scored just off the 400-point mark in the preliminaries but was unable to rediscover his best form in the final and his score of 369.65 saw him take silver, with Germany’s Finn Awe (356.15) third.
“I’m very proud considering it’s my first Europeans so I’m over the moon,” Heath told LEN after the Boys B 1m final.
“I saw it was close between the top three and because we all have the same last dive it was a bit more nerve-wracking, but it all worked out.”
Germany were the other nation to top the podium for the first time at the 2023 edition of the European Junior Diving Championships, following an entertaining performance from their Boys A/B synchronised finalist Espen Prenzyna and Ole Johannes Rösler.
They attained a total of 291.12 for their routines, with Jordan Fisher-Eames and Noah Penman (283.02) of Great Britain taking silver.
Bronze was awarded to Italian duo Simone Conte and Romano Hao Jun Wang (280.02).
“It’s crazy to think that we just won gold as we missed some of our dives, but in the end it didn’t matter and it feels great,” Prenzyna told LEN.
Johannes Rösler added; “It’s very special for me as it was my first ever synchro event here and it was great, I hope it’s the first of many.”
Rounding off the second day of competition was the Girls’ B synchronised platform event which saw the nine finalists compete from 7.5m and 10m heights.
Ukrainian’s Diana Shevchenko and Alisa Mieshkova recovered from a slow start to attain a total of 245.13 points and secure their nation’s third gold of Rijeka 2023.
Juliette John and Hannah Newbrook of Great Britain were close behind with 242.16, while Romanian duo Iona-Andreea Carcu and Nazanin-Adelyne Ellahi (233.34) took bronze.
“It was very difficult and we are so happy about first place,” Shevchenko told LEN. “It was very special for Ukraine and for us both.”