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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 18 July, 2019

Ireland's Oliver Dingley earns PB in Olympics diving final having gone beyond expectations

The 23-year-old diver impressed at the Rio Games this evening, and finished in eighth place.

Oliver Dingley Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Updated at 01.15

IRELAND’S OLIVER DINGLEY finished eighth in tonight’s men’s 3m springboard diving final at the Rio Olympics, and can be more than satisfied with his overall display.

Dingley started and finished particularly strongly, exceeding pre-Games expectations in the process.

Competing against 11 other finalists, Dingley secured a personal best of 442.90 at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre this evening.

“My first Olympic final, my first Olympic Games,” a delighted Dingley said afterwards.

“The world champion got knocked out in the semi-final, the Olympic champion got knocked out in the semi-final, and I find myself standing on that diving board in the Olympic final. It’s a dream come true.

I came eighth in the world. I’ve qualified for the world series now which is top eight in the world. I’m part of the elite people in diving and that’s absolutely amazing.

“And to also get an Irish record at the same time, I couldn’t be prouder right now.”

Oliver Dingley Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Harrogate-born athlete found himself in fourth after the first round of diving, after an encouraging score of 74.40

He then continued his impressive form thereafter, managing 81.60 on his second dive, which ultimately took him to 156.00 overall, keeping him in fourth position.

A third dive saw Dingley continue his consistency with a score of 76.50, bringing him onto a total tally of 232.5, which left him just 0.2 off his third-place rival.

Dingley then fell back slightly on the leaderboard after attempting a lower degree of difficulty dive (3.0), as he registered a score of 69.00, leaving him in eighth place after the fourth round of diving.

Oliver Dingley Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Irish hopes of a medal all but ended after the fifth dive, as a score of 61.50 meant he remained in eighth following the penultimate round of diving.

However, the 23-year-old ultimately finished strongly with a score of 79.90 to end his Rio Olympics campaign on a high.

“I don’t look at the scoreboard,” he added. “That’s when it starts to go wrong.

“I think I can do an even better performance as well. I just need to polish up on a few dives, especially those middle round dives, and some degree of difficulty into my list. I feel like I’m strong enough.

“I’ve got a great support team back home so we’ll definitely be strong enough to do some of those harder dives that were being pulled off there tonight.

The future’s bright, not just for me but for Irish diving. I hope some kids back home, even if it’s a few kids, might come on to poolside and want to start some diving. You never know, you might get the next Olympic Irish champion coming on to poolside.

“To be a part of that and spearhead it is absolutely amazing for me.”

Oliver Dingley Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Dingley became Ireland’s first Olympic representative in diving in 68 years after qualifying last February.

He qualifies to represent Ireland through his Spike Island-born grandmother, switching allegiances from Britain in October 2014.

Meanwhile, an exciting climax in tonight’s final saw China’s Cao Yuan claim gold with a score of 547.60. Britain’s Jack Laugher (523.85) earned silver and bronze went to Patrick Hausding of Germany (498.90).

– Additional reporting by Niall Kelly

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Paul Fennessy

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