Jack Laugher was delighted to have bounced back from a zero score in qualifying to take bronze in the men’s 3m springboard final in an English double and admitted that things like that have “ruined” him in the past could.
Laugher, an Olympic silver medalist at that event in Rio six years ago, has been open about his struggles with anxiety for his performances and scored zero on his first jump in the preliminary round on Saturday morning after nerves kicked in on the board.
Dan Goodfellow took gold for England, Jordan Houlden secured a silver on Saturday night and Laugher – who recovered and reached the final in 11th of 12 qualifiers – was delighted to be on the podium after a bumpy start to the day.
“I feel like a year and a half ago before the Olympics, which (zero) would have completely ruined me and sent me into a little spiral,” he said.
“I thought maybe there would be some kind of big turnaround today, a bit of a comeback story, and it kind of is.
“While there were some massive negatives, the overall experience was extremely positive. When you have that seed of doubt planted in your head, it can be quite difficult. But I’ve worked with a psychologist and now I have things to do.”
Laugher, who went to sleep after the morning session to help him ‘reset’, led halfway but his fifth vault, a four and a half forward somersaults, saw him score just 53.20 and slip off the lead .
Goodfellow made his fourth jump – the most difficult in his routine – with a 91.65 point on that jump and 484.45 points overall.
Goodfellow, who was born in Cambridge but plays at the same City of Leeds club as Laugher, said: “I’ve had a tough year and probably a couple of people have doubted me, so to come here and do that… it’s just me really happy.
“To come here and win gold, I wouldn’t trade it.”
City of Sheffield Club’s Houlden said he was “speechless” after his silver medal.
“I couldn’t be happier with my performance. It’s incredible. I couldn’t wait for more,” he said.
“The crowd went nuts and I just fed off of the crowd, it was really energetic and I loved it.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/jack-laugher-dan-goodfellow-english-rio-team-england-b2139887.html Jack Laugher recovers from nightmare opening game and completes all-England podium