Spendolini-Sirieix gold concludes England’s best diving Commonwealth Games | Commonwealth Games 2022
For five long days of competition in Birmingham, England’s best divers were virtually untouchable. However, when the final Commonwealth Games medals were handed out, they only allowed themselves one excruciating dive each to conclude. Together, Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, Noah Williams, Kyle Kothari and Lois Toulson made their way to the Sandwell Aquatics Center diving pool where they skillfully performed festive flops in unison.
They had a lot to celebrate. Moments earlier, 17-year-old Spendolini-Sirieix’s Games breakthrough came to a perfect conclusion as she teamed up with Williams to win her second gold medal in mixed synchro. As she did in her individual exploits, they topped the field, scoring 333.06 to win by 14.52 points ahead of Kothari and Toulson in an English double.
Spendolini-Sirieix had already won gold in the women’s 10m and then silver in synchro, bringing her record to three. She’s had a lot of attention in the diving community for some time, her talent is well known, and here, in her first major games, she flourished: “It was unbelievable”, said she declared. “I think we came here wanting to have fun and we definitely did. It’s a PB for us, synchro, in fact. I’m really happy with the way we executed our dives and our synchro.
Alongside him, 22-year-old Williams had a terrific Games in his own right with two gold medals. Williams followed a world championship silver medal alongside Matty Lee in the men’s 10m synchro two months ago by winning gold with Lee in the same event on Friday. Having missed out on synchronization at the Olympics due to Great Britain’s extremely deep and competitive diving team, Lee and Tom Daley winning an iconic gold medal, Williams made the most of his opportunities in what became one of the best seasons of his career.
These Games were the best for the England diving team, who came away with 15 medals in total: six gold, four silver and five bronze. They even grabbed an entire podium, with Daniel Goodfellow, Jordan Houlden and Jack Laugher taking gold, silver and bronze on the men’s individual 3m springboard podium. This is a reflection of the continued growth of the sport in Britain.
Earlier on Monday there were further indications of Britain’s diving power as Scotland clinched their first diving medal of the competition, winning gold in the mixed 3m synchro springboard, James Heatly and Grace Reid holding off Australians Li Shixin and Maddison Keeney by just two points to each become Commonwealth champion.
As it stands, the mixed synchrony is not an Olympic event, which Spendolini-Sirieix and Williams say allowed them to relax and enjoy their final moments of World Games competition a bit more. Commonwealth. “I think because it’s not in the Olympics, some people take it less seriously. And it’s at the Commonwealth Games so it’s not that nobody will take it seriously here, but we can have a little more fun and have more fun,” Williams said.
For divers, there is no time to step back and appreciate the progress they have made in Birmingham. They will eventually take time off, enjoy their vacation and see the summer, but there are other frontiers to conquer. The European Championships begin in Rome on Thursday, with Monday’s competitors having just one day off before preparing again for a major event.
“Now we have Europeans, so I will focus on that. After that I will take a break, take my summer vacation and come back stronger,” Spendolini-Sirieix said.
Earlier in the day, the England men’s hockey team won an excellent bronze medal in an intense and dynamic game, beating South Africa 6-3.
The action at the Commonwealth Games ended in the afternoon with the final medals for England and Scotland in squash. Greg Lobban and Rory Stewart of Scotland edged Eain Yow Ng and Chee Wern Yuen of Malaysia to take the bronze medal in the men’s doubles. Then, in an all-English battle, James Willstrop and Declan James held off Adrian Waller and Daryl Selby 2-1 to win gold.