Aquatics / Olympics

Plymouth divers Couch and Barrow look for individual success in Rio

Sarah Barrow, Andy Banks, Tonia Couch

PLYMOUTH divers Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow begin their individual campaigns at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday evening (7pm).

Couch has already competed in Brazil, finishing fifth in the synchro platform event with West Yorkshire teenager Louis Toulson.

Barrrow, though, has had to wait patiently for her chance to dive into the infamous Maria Lenk pool, which is now back in a traditional blue colour having turned green on the fourth day of the Games.

Barrow did compete at the last Olympics in London, but only in the synchro event.

The 2014 European champion has had to work hard to secure her spot on the Great Britain team after injury and the heartbreak of losing her synchro place.

She has reached World Championship, European Championship and Commonwealth Games individual finals and would love to do the same at the Olympics.

“It’s quite a proud moment to get there individually,” said Barrow, who secured her spot by winning the British Championships with an impressive score of 347.90 points in Sheffield.

“I am looking to get into that Olympic final so I’ve been working even harder than I did before trials.”

Barrow finished fourth at the 2013 World Championships and knows if she hits anywhere close to her best then a final place is more than a realistic target.

Couch will also have the same aim. She has reached four consecutive individual World Championship finals, claimed five individual World Series medals and took silver at this year’s European Championships.

Couch, like Barrow, only competed in the synchro in London 2012, but she did compete in the individual event in Beijing in 2008, where she reached the final and finished eighth as a teenager.

“This will be my third Olympics and I feel I have learnt so much from both Beijing and London,” said Couch.

Britain has not won a female diving medal since Elizabeth Ferris secured a bronze at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

That was the last time GB won two diving medals at one Games, but they have already surpassed that figure in Rio, by claiming three medals. On Tuesday evening, Jack Laugher added the three-metre individual silver to the synchro gold he won with Chris Mears. Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow also won a 10m synchro bronze.

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