Liam Stone ecstatic with Games diving debut

KIWI DIVER: Liam Stone.
KIWI DIVER: Liam Stone.

Composed 17-year-old Aucklander Liam Stone made a fine fist of his Commonwealth Games diving debut.

Stone finished seventh in the 1-metre springboard final in Edinburgh this morning, producing the best effort of his fledgling career to do so.

A nervy Stone had qualified sixth from the morning's preliminary session with a score of 343.35 from his six dives, but improved his own performances to collate a tally of 382.10 in the showdown.

KIWI DIVER: Liam Stone.
KIWI DIVER: Liam Stone.

"That's a personal best score, so I'm over the moon," he said.

He saved his best for last too, nailing a reverse 2.5 somersault with a tuck (Degree Of Difficulty 3.0) to be awarded his best mark of 76.50 from the judges.

"I couldn't be more pleased - six consistent dives, personal best score ... can't ask for much more."

Stone admitted to plenty of nerves in the preliminary session.

"I was a bit shaky, but that was good to get it out of the way. I just calmed myself, stayed relaxed and got my head ready."

Stone made an excellent start this morning when his first dive of the six allowed in the final saw him pick up 65.10 points for an inward 2.5 somersault with a tuck (DOD 3.1).

That put him up to a share of fourth spot before his second plunge, a forward 2.5 somersault with a pike (DOD 2.6) was given 59.80 points and left him sixth.

The high school student performed a forward 3.5 somersault with a tuck (DOD) on his third trip to the board and impressed the judging panel enough to be awarded 67.50 points and climb to fifth midway through the programme.

He attempted his most difficult dive of the evening - a forward 2.5 somersault with a pike (DOD 3.2) - on his fourth trip to board, but couldn't quite pull it off, with his score of 59.20 seeing him slip back to sixth with two dives remaining.

His fifth dive, a back 2.5 somersault with tuck (DOD 3.0) earned a mark of 54.00 before hitting the heights on his last appearance, much to the delight of a cheering section that included his parents, friends from New Zealand and family from England.

Stone will also contest the 3m springboard and 3m synchronised springboard with Fengyang Li. His fellow Kiwi will also compete in the 3m springboard and 10m platform events.