VIDEO: Wakefield’s Blagg can inspire British divers

Alicia Blagg. Picture by Simon Hulme
Alicia Blagg. Picture by Simon Hulme

Former Olympic diving silver medallist Leon Taylor is convinced Alicia Blagg now has the consistency and class to win major international medals on the Olympic and World Championship stage.

Wakefield-born Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree earned a bronze medal in the women’s 3m synchro at the Beijing meet of the World Series and Taylor, who won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, believes the pair’s performance illustrates the Brits’ newfound step up in class.

Blagg and Gallantree, who picked up gold at the Commonwealth Games last summer in Glasgow, posted a total of 293.40 in a highly competitive event to take their place on the podium.

Blagg, 18, finished seventh in the 3m synchro event at the London 2012 Olympics at just 15 years of age, alongside Rebecca Gallantree but it’s a medal on the world stage that the Yorkshire athletes now craves.

And Taylor insists to be regarded as truly world class, it’s now about Blagg and Gallantree delivering at a World Championship and then again in Rio at the Olympic Games in 2016.

“Alicia Blagg and Becky Gallantree won a bronze in Beijing, which was the only medal for the GB diving team at the event,” said Taylor.

“It not only illustrated their ability to mix it with the world’s best athletes on the highest stage but also the fact they’re capable of leading and inspiring the rest of the British team – Alicia and Becky are very good and I think they’ve got the ability to get even better as they continue to improve and mature.”

The FINA Diving World Series heads to London on May 1-3 at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Taylor has singled out Blagg and Gallantree as a serious medal threat.

See the world’s best divers take part in the FINA/NVC Diving World Series at the iconic London Aquatics Centre, May 1-3. Tickets from £7 now on sale at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/diving

For more on this story read Friday’s Wakefield Express.