Aquatics

Plymouth divers Couch and Barrow bid for historic medal in Kazan

Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow

PLYMOUTH divers Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow will be hoping to create history on Monday at the World Aquatic Championships in Kazan, Russia.

The pair will compete in the 10m platform synchro event where they will be looking to become Great Britain’s first female World Championship medal winners.

Couch and Barrow have come close before to achieving that feat. At the 2011 event in Shanghai they finished fourth in the synchro, just missing bronze by less than two points, while two years ago in Barcelona, they came fifth as a pair and Barrow came fourth in the individual competition.

The city duo will go into Monday’s competition in good form having won two bronze medals and one silver at this year’s World Series competition.

Couch also finished as individual World Series champion after claiming four bronze medals.

“I’m really looking forward to the worlds,” said Couch. “We’ve been training hard and I feel like I’ve been diving well recently.

“Both the synchro and individual events are very important and I’m just as focussed on both.

“Synchro is so much fun though and it’s great to be able to share that success and good times with Sarah.”

Couch, competing at her sixth World Championships, added: “We’ve done pretty well but it’s been a tough one in the synchro because everyone has upped their game this year. Everybody is fighting for the medals.

“It’s anyone’s game between five of us trying to get that medal – China, Canada, Malaysia, Australia and us.”

Barrow added: “We’ve got to be confident.  We’ve had good competitions this year and we’ll just ignore the bad ones.

“We’ve worked on the bits we weren’t so good with. Our required dives had dropped a bit this year and we’ve worked really hard on them. So that should be an extra five points compared to what we’ve been doing. And the other dives have been good all year.”

There are 16 teams entered in the synchro event, so there will be prelims in the morning and then a final at night.

Their main competition will come from China’s Ruolin Chen and Huixia Liu, Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion, Malaysia’s Pandelela Pamg and Mun Yee Leong and Australia’s Melissa Wu and Lara Tarvit. The Plymouth pair did take Commonwealth Games silver medal in Glasgow last year.

Couch and Barrow’s individual prelims will take place on Wednesday.

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