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Diver Jack Laugher tipped to bounce back from London 2012 agony
9:54am Wednesday 8th August 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
JACK Laugher has been tipped for a long Olympic diving career despite having a torrid Games debut in the three-metre springboard at London 2012.
The 17-year-old Ripon Grammar School pupil finished 27th in the preliminary round, out of the qualifying places for the semi-final, and suffered a mishap on his final dive when his knees buckled on the board and he entered the water having abandoned his dive.
He was too upset to speak about the incident, but there were words of consolation for Great Britain’s next great diving hope.
Laugher’s coach, Adrian Hinchliffe, explained what happened on that final forward two-and-a-half somersault with pike.
“I’m afraid the occasion got to him,” said Hinchliffe. “It’s hard, because we all know how super- talented he really is. He’s just had a bad one there and I’m devastated for him.
“I think he lost some focus early on and then it can take a lot of mental energy to pull yourself back.
“His last dive was his legs giving way and that’s just bad luck. That can happen when you’re giving your all, which can affect you physically.
“The board came up and the force went through his legs, which is quite painful. Diving after all is a precision sport – one tiny mistake and the dive won’t work.”
Bitter-sweet memories of London can be turned into something more positive in Rio in 2016 and beyond, Hinchliffe believes.
And he remains in no doubt as to the double world junior champion’s potential.
“We’ve got to remember he’s 17 years old, even though he’s had great results,” added Hinchliffe.
“He’s angry but he’ll bounce back. He’s a real tough cookie.
“We’ll make sure he takes time to recover from this and then he’ll come back fighting. You’ve seen what he’s done in the past and we’ll see it again in the future.
“He’ll calm down. This has been an emotional experience. Then we’ll rebuild. I’ll remind him how brilliant he is because we’re very lucky to have Jack Laugher in the Britain team.
“He’s got a big career ahead of him yet and could compete in three, maybe four Olympics. We’ll regroup and he’ll be back.”
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