Belgrade 2024: Gwendal Bisch clinches gold with fantastic final dive & Ukraine win women’s 10m Synchro

Published On: June 22, 2024

Credit to:  European Aquatics

France’s Gwendal Bisch saved the best for last and his outstanding final dive rocketed him to the Men’s 3m Springboard title, ahead of Italy’s Matteo Santoro and Britain’s Matt Dixon. By contrast, Sofia Lyskun and Ksenia Bailo from Ukraine took the lead in the first round in the Women’s 3m Synchro where they stayed for the remainder of the competition to clinch gold.

Two days ago, Santoro had topped the ranks for five rounds but a low DD last dive dropped him to second place in the Men’s 1m Springboard final.

On Saturday, the Italian performed another set of great dives, including two fantastic 80+ pointers to begin with.

Up until the penultimate round he was enjoying a comfortable lead when he had a mediocre attempt and again found himself in second.

At this stage, France’s Jules Bouyer jumped into pole position with a brilliant 82-pointer, after holding second place throughout the previous four rounds.

His compatriot Bisch was third, despite a relatively low-scoring attempt in Round 4, thanks to his previous dive which earned him 82 points.

Great Britain’s Dixon was in fourth place after an error in the third dropped him to ninth but he responded well to bounce back.

Credit to: European Aquatics

The final round couldn’t have been any more thrilling.

Among the medal contenders, Dixon walked to the boards first and he came up with his best dive of the day, bagging 85.50 points to put the others under pressure.

Santoro couldn’t offer his best, and just like in the 1m, his last dive had the lowest DD although it was enough to overtake Dixon by a tiny margin of 0.40 points.

The last two dives came from the French.

Bouyer attempted his toughest dive, 3.8DD, but he was not able to perform a clean jump, earning only 53 points which landed him behind Santoro and Dixon.

All eyes were on Bisch who did the very same super-challenging forward 4 ½ somersaults tuck – but his was truly outstanding.

The judges rewarded him with 8.0s and a 9.0, for 91.20 points, the highest-scoring attempt of the final which rocketed the Frenchman to the top, by 9.20 points ahead of Santoro.

Bisch took the title with 440.75pts with Santoro claiming silver with 431.55 and Dixon the bronze (431.15).

“I’m very happy with my performance,” said Bisch. “The prelim was hard in this hot weather and it’s really great to win my first international title against an Italian rival as they are very good divers. I can enjoy this now.”

Santoro said: “I’m really happy with my performance as I had a lot of fun. These guys are really
amazing, I feel honoured to compete with them. I need to work on the stability of dives.”

For Dixon, there were some conflicting feelings.

“It was mixed emotions, to be honest,” he said. “It was a proper dogfight, I jumped one dive for
40 points then I fought my way back. I’m really happy to battle my way through and coming off with a bronze medal. I enjoyed these days here, the weather is so hot and I love it!”

Credit to: European Aquatics

After the ‘parade of errors’ in the women’s 3m final, the 10m Synchro event brought a tremendous ‘upgrade’ in quality where all three medallists produced well-balanced performances.

Ukraine’s Lyskun and Bailo grabbed the top spot right away and retained it throughout.

Kicking off their campaign with an almost perfect attempt for a series of 8.0s and 9.0s set the tone and in the remaining four rounds not a single mark went below 6.0 with the vast majority 7.0s and 7.5s.

They extended their lead through the rounds although it was never so substantial that they had room for comfort.

Still, they didn’t crack under the pressure from Spain’s Valeria Antolino and Ana Carvajal who also maintained a fine level throughout the competition.

The Ukrainians produced their best in the last two rounds, receiving 65+ points for both of their dives, the highest scores in the afternoon.

Antolino had a couple of ‘shakier’ jumps but their synchronisation was still great which kept them in second position.

France’s Jade Gillet and Emily Hallifax bagged the bronze despite Greek pair Stavroula Chalemou and Ionna Karakosta cutting the gap to less than five points before the last round.

Ukraine scored 288.78pts to take gold ahead of Spain (260.67) and France (240.60).

Credit to: European Aquatics

Bailo enjoyed upgrading to gold, saying: “I’m extremely happy as at the previous Europeans we had silver and bronze, now we finally got gold.

Antolino also looked ahead to the Games, just five weeks hence.

“We could have done a bit better, but we are happy with the medal. We feel excited heading to the Olympics, this was our last event on the platform before Paris, and it ended well.”

Hallifax had mixed emotions and pledged to improve.

“I won’t say that I’m happy with how we performed, I’d say we can do so much better,” she said.

“It’s been a long week, we have individual events, we are all tired. So we are not that happy but we are accepting what happened and we’ll do better at the next competition.”

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