Plymouth’s McCabe wins two medals at European Junior Diving Championships

PLYMOUTH’S Euan McCabe will be returning home from the European Junior Diving Championship in Croatia with two medals around his neck.

The city youngster, who has not been able to train properly for nearly 18 months due to first the Covid-19 pandemic and then the closure of the diving pool at the Life Centre for repair work, picked up a silver and a bronze medal in Rijeka on Thursday.

His first medal came in the boys’ B platform event where he claimed third place in a close final.

McCabe went into the final round in fourth spot, but produced a sensation dive on his back two-and-a-half somersaults and one-and-a-half twists to score 75.20 points and guarantee a medal.

It was very nearly silver, but Ukraine’s Kirill Boliukh, diving last, also produced a 70-plus final effort to take second by just 2.45 points – scoring a total of 413.00 points to McCabe’s 410.55.

Russia’s Nikita Kudryavtsev took the gold with 436.40 points.

GB team leader out in Croatia, Julian Bellan, described McCabe’s medal-winning performance as an ‘inspirational moment’.

He added: “It’s a medal but no ordinary medal – no home training pool for 18 months and limited access at weekends with 500-mile round trips to training.”

But the day got even better for McCabe as he went and added a silver medal in the boys’ A/B platform sycnhro with Ben Cutmore.

They were only beaten by Russia’s Maksim Malofeev and Sandro Rogava.

McCabe’s double medal joy on Thursday was the perfect way to bounce back from a frustrating one-metre springboard event two days earlier.

The Plymouth diver had to settle for 12th in that final after a no-dive in the second round put paid to his chances of a medal, having qualified for final in third.

The Great Britain team now has five medals at the championships with three days left to go.

Suzie Collins, Swim England’s diving talent officer, said: “The team have done exceptionally well. Many of them have only been back to full-time training for a few weeks so to see them come out here and be so competitive is fantastic.

“The athletes are really showcasing their class and we are excited to see what the rest of the competition holds for Team GB.”

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