Aquatics

Plymouth diver Dixon impresses at FINA World Cup in China

PLYMOUTH teenager Matthew Dixon showed he can match it with the best senior divers on the plant with a highly encouraging debut at the FINA World Cup in China.

The 18-year-old continued his good form in 2018 by reaching the finals of both the individual men’s 10m and synchro events in Wuhan.

He and Noah Williams came sixth in the synchro final before Dixon finished ninth in the individual event.

It followed on from winning two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in April and becoming British platform champion earlier in the year.

Dixon, competing at a major senior global event for the first time, was the only British male diver other than Olympic medallist Jack Laugher to reach an individual final in China.

Impressively, Dixon improved in each round. He scored 405.80 points in the preliminary round to progress in ninth spot. He then scored 428.30 points in the semi-final to qualify eighth.

However, he saved his best for the final, scoring 444.80 points. He was consistent all the way through the final, finishing with an average of 74 points per dive.

He was more consistent than a number of the divers who finished ahead of him, but they just had a greater degree of difficulty.

China’s Aisen Chen and Jian Yang finished first and second. They were the only divers to finish with more than 500 points. America’s David Dinsmore took bronze.

In the synchro final, Dixon and Williams scored 384.81 points, having claimed 376.35 in the prelims.

The British pair were only 25 points off winning bronze, which will give them massive hope, especially after a below par fourth dive in the final.

Tom Daley did not compete at the World Cup as he is taking a break from diving for the rest of the year following injury and illness.

However, fellow former Plymouth divers Robyn Birch and Dan Goodfellow did compete in China.

Birch reached the women’s 10m platform final where she finished 10th with 305.50 points.

Goodfellow, who normally partners Daley in the men’s 10m synchro, competed in the three-metre competition but just missed out on reaching the semi-finals.

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