Brit pair reach semis
British pair both make progress
Last Updated: August 3, 2012 6:17pm
Hannah Starling: Reached semi-finals
Teenager Hannah Starling revealed she had to calm her World Championship-winning coach before producing a final dive to nudge her through to the semi-final of the women's three-metre springboard.
Starling, at 17 the youngest competitor on show, was a place below the 18-diver cut when she stepped up to the board for her forward two-and-a-half somersault with a twist finale.
After soaking up the atmosphere of a raucous support of 17,500 British fans inside the Aquatics Centre the Olympic debutant produced her best effort of the day to scrape through in 17th - a place below compatriot Becky Gallantree.
It came as welcome relief for her coach Edwin Jongejans, who won the one-metre springboard world title in 1991, after Starling revealed he had been a bundle of nerves throughout.
Like many divers Starling chooses not to look at the ranking during competition - for fear of adding extra pressure - but said Jongejans' body language had left her in little doubt she was on the cusp.
"I didn't look at my scores but my coach, after I did a quite bad mistake on my third dive, on the fourth he was all jittery," said Starling, who scored 298.95.
"I was saying 'please calm down, now I know that I'm not in 18th'.
"It's really funny because I know when I need to do something really well because he goes really jittery. I was just 'calm down, it's fine'.
"He's more experienced. I think I was more calm."
Starling had clearly set about enjoying her first Olympics as she paused before each dive with a broad smile to enjoy the cheers of the British fans.
After her final dive the teenager turned to the crowd again before returning to poolside and revealed she had done so because she thought it would be her last chance to revel in the excitement of a home Games.
"I just wanted to take in the feeling of the whole crowd because I thought it might be my last dive at the Olympics," she said.
"I wanted to remember the moment so I turned around and looked at it all. It was brilliant. I was just so happy and at that time I didn't know if I was through.
"I loved it. You can't do anything but smile. If you're stood there and you're not smiling then everyone will only be like 'oh go on', but if you smile they will be louder and the louder they are the better you feel.
"There's so many people behind you. It makes me smile."
Gallantree was also pleased to go through after failing to progress beyond the first round at the last Olympics and world championships.
The 27-year-old was always inside the top 18 and, after reaching the final at the World Cup at this same pool in February, has the potential to win through on Saturday.
Her score of 299.25 was just over 20 points below her best and, after making errors on her reverse two-and-a-half somersaults and inward two-and-a-half somersaults, has room to improve for the semi-final.
"It feels great. I'm really, really happy to be through to the semi-final and hopefully I can make some improvements for the semi-final and I can go out there and enjoy it again," she said.
"We managed quite good scores but there is room for improvement. We know what we need to do to improve on it.
"The inward is my hardest dive but I know I can do that and on the other second dive it's just a matter of getting it right at the time.
"Hopefully tomorrow I can get it right and go even bigger."