2021 European Aquatics Championships: Pellacani, Santoro & Hausding Earn Diving Gold

European Championships PELLACANI Chiara ITA SANTORO Matteo ITA Mixed 3m Synchro Springboard Final Diving Budapest - Hungary 12/5/2021 Duna Arena XXXV LEN European Aquatic Championships Photo Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

As the European Championships moved int0 Day 3 in Budapest, the Italians earned gold in the mixed 3-meter synchronized diving event.

Chiara Pellacani and Matteo Santoro posted the most balanced performance, with the 14-year-old Santoro earning a trip to the top of the podium. The Italians were so consistent, they had a low score of 6.5 on only two occasions.

“We are diving together as a pair for the first time,” Pellacani said. “I knew we could win a medal but didn’t expect it to be the gold. I am really satisfied, especially for Matteo. I think this will be a great push for his future carrier and a big source of motivation.”

Germany’s Lou Massenberg and Tina Punzel held the second position throughout the competition, while Russia’s Ilia Molchanov and Vitaliia Koroleva faded from first place after three rounds to the bronze medal. A pair of missed dives in the last two rounds proved costly for the Russian pair.

“It was a tough competition,” Massenberg said. “We wanted to fight for the gold and we did, but in the end we lost against the Italians. They did really well today, and we (made) some small mistakes. Our entries sometimes are good and sometimes not. But at the end we are happy with this silver considering that we had a long journey behind us, from Dresden to Tokyo and then back here to Budapest. I think we can be really happy today because it was a really close competition.”

The first individual men’s final lacked the usual tensions as Germany’s Patrick Hausding used his experience to walk away with another gold medal. Once he took the lead after the third round, he expanded his advantage dive by dive and retained his 1-meter title comfortably.

His tally stands at 16 European titles. Jack Laugher was the top qualifier after prelims, but the Briton was less balanced in the evening and needed some luck to pass Italy’s Giovanni Tocci for the silver by a margin of 0.4 points.

“At the end, my score is not so great but I am happy with the medal. For me it was important to get a feel of the Championships and to get used to competing again,” Laugher said. “I am more than happy to share the podium with champions like Patrick and Giovanni and content with the silver medal.”

In the afternoon session, the Russian mermaids won the artistic technical team gold, beating Ukraine and Spain. Russia finished with a score of 95.6705.

“It was enough for this win, only,” Svetlana Romashina said. “Our coach saw some mistakes that we need to correct if we want to win at the Olympics. This was a strong performance, but we need to improve. This gold medal is what we came here for, so we are happy with that.”