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Laugher bags second Gold Coast gold to set up hat-trick bid

A scorching performance saw Jack Laugher claim his second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games to set up a Gold Coast hat-trick bid on Friday.

“I was on fire from the start,” said Laugher, who added the men’s three metres springboard title to the one metre gold he claimed on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Harrogate diver finished with a score of 519.40 points – 66.70 clear of his nearest challenger.

Canada’s Philippe Gagne took silver with 452.70 and bronze went to Australia’s James Connor with 438.50, while England’s Ross Haslam was fourth and Scotland’s James Heatly fifth.

England's Jack Laugher responded from qualifying in fifth to win the men's 3m springboard by a huge margin
England’s Jack Laugher responded from qualifying in fifth to win the men’s 3m springboard by a huge margin (Danny Lawson/PA Images)

It was a fourth Commonwealth gold for Laugher, who upgraded the silver he won at Glasgow 2014.

And the victory came after Laugher qualified in a lowly fifth under the hot morning sun, as the Yorkshireman thrived under the dark, floodlit skies.

He added: “To know I pretty much made a medal position without having done my last dive was very confidence boosting. I’m really proud of my score.

“I was very emotional on the podium then. I love the England anthem (Jerusalem).

“And to be able to hear that and think about how gutted I was back in Glasgow and then come here to absolutely smash it today and win the gold medal, it really means a lot to me.

“Sometimes after an upset you do come back stronger. After Glasgow I’ve come back here with the intention to try to win it and I have done today, so I’m really proud of myself.”

Laugher’s bid for a third gold medal of the Games will come in the synchronised 3m springboard final where Chris Mears will be his partner.

The housemates will be overwhelming favourites here. The duo won Glasgow 2014 gold and then two years later added the European title in London and Great Britain’s first Olympic diving gold in Rio.

Jack Laugher, left, and Chris Mears won Great Britain's first Olympic diving gold in Rio
Jack Laugher, left, and Chris Mears won Great Britain’s first Olympic diving gold in Rio (David Davies/PA Images)

“I’m going to get my head down, get some rest tonight and recover for tomorrow so I can hopefully go out there and complete that hat-trick,” Laugher added.

Laugher won Olympic silver in the 3m springboard and was thrilled with his display after a nervous performance in victory in the 1m event a day earlier.

He added: “It was difficult trying to defend yesterday’s title and I think that was pretty obvious because everything was a little bit shaky and a little bit nervous.

“I still got a fantastic score, but you could see those dives weren’t as crisp as they were today. I was on form this evening.”

Laugher was present when Jerusalem was re-recorded for these Games, with England long jumper Jazmin Sawyers the lead singer.

Tom Daley, right, and Dan Goodfellow will team up in the men's synchronised 10m platform event, despite Daley's withdrawal from individual competition
Tom Daley, right, and Dan Goodfellow will team up in the men’s synchronised 10m platform event, despite Daley’s withdrawal from individual competition (Mike Egerton/PA Images)

But he is not planning to emulate para-swimming champion Ellie Robinson by singing on the podium if he wins alongside Mears on Friday.

He added: “I’m unfortunately not a great singer so I won’t be doing that. I prefer to just sit there and feel how emotional it is to me.”

Tom Daley, the 10m platform world champion, will make his sole Commonwealth appearance on Friday, in the men’s synchronised 10m platform event with Dan Goodfellow. The pair won Olympic bronze in Rio.

Daley has withdrawn from Saturday’s individual event with a hip injury.

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