CITY of Sheffield diver Nick Robinson-Baker admitted that the pressure might have got the better of him today after a disappointing final dive cost him and Chris Mears a chance of a medal in the 3m synchro final.
Going into the sixth and final round at the World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona the British Gas GBR diving duo sat fifth, hopeful of closing in on the Mexican team of Jahir Ocampo and Rommel Pacheco who took a surprise bronze.
But Robinson-Baker’s inwards three and a half somersault misfired costing them dear and they ended up eighth overall with a score of 391.53points.
The British pair had qualified for the final in seventh and looked on as all but the Chinese pair of Hai Qin and Chong He struggled to produce their best.
And while Robinson Baker admitted afterwards that he and Mears had missed an opportunity to upset the favourites, the 26-year-old remained upbeat about the pairing’s performances on Tuesday.
“We had a cracking competition but right at the end I decided to go quite far over on my inward three and a half, which happens to be one of my safest dives,” he said.
“But it’s just one of those things that happens in sport, maybe the pressure built up a bit but at the end of the day it’s still a great performance for us.
“Diving is one of those hit or miss sports, if you look at the penultimate round when six or seven teams messed up their dive it was amazing to watch.
“We didn’t mess up that round but in the last one Chris executed his amazingly and I went over a little bit but this is sport and competition.”
And Mears, who will dive again later in the week in the individual 3m competition, refused to blame his partner for their final position.
“I feel like me and Nick performed really well, individually I dived pretty good but my reverse twist was a little bit long,” he added.
“But Nick saved me because he nailed his dive and then in the inward dive at the end just let us down towards the end.
“Anything can happen, unfortunately our last dive was not the best but we can keep our heads high.
“We were watching the events behind the scenes and it was just exciting, we knew that the field was closer than it would have been.”
*Britain’s athletes are funded by UK Sport as the nation’s high performance sports agency responsible for the strategic investment of £355million of National Lottery and Exchequer funding in Olympic and Paralympic sports preparing for Rio 2016. The ambition is to win more medals than in London 2012 while building a stronger more sustainable high performance system. www.uksport.gov.uk