Swain claims the scalp of Olympic champions

PUBLISHED: 16:52 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 26 October 2009

BEN SWAIN

BEN SWAIN

A FORMER WGC schoolboy claimed the scalp of the current Olympic gold medallists at the British Diving Championships. Ben Swain, who went to Monk s Walk School, and synchro partner Nick Robinson-Baker proved they are fast becoming a world-class pairing in

A FORMER WGC schoolboy claimed the scalp of the current Olympic gold medallists at the British Diving Championships.

Ben Swain, who went to Monk's Walk School, and synchro partner Nick Robinson-Baker proved they are fast becoming a world-class pairing in Manchester.

The City of Sheffield pair, who have only dived together for the past six months, showed synchronicity, quality and consistency to dominate the men's 3m synchro event.

They struck gold with more than 50 points to spare over their closest rivals - the 2004 Athens Olympic champions from Greece.

Swain, whose family still live in Welwyn, and GB team-mate Robinson-Baker opened confidently to set the tone on day one of the national championships at the Manchester Aquatics Centre and never looked like giving up their immediate advantage, despite such a strong field.

The British pair took the gold with 413.13 points from Olympic champions Thomas Bimis and Alexandros Manos with 361.65.

French pair Damien Cely and Matthieu Rosset took the bronze on 360.60.

"That's what we've been working towards, we dived very well and that's our best result to date," said Swain, who started his diving career with the Hatfield-based Beaumont Academy.

"It's our highest ever score and shows that, despite being a relatively new pairing, we're improving all of the time and the future looks good with a very big year ahead of us."

British divers will compete at the FINA Diving World Cup in Beijing next month to try to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, and Swain and Robinson-Baker are in contention for a return trip to China in August.

Robinson-Baker was delighted with the pair's result in Manchester given the fact an injury to a toe meant that training hasn't been ideal.

"We went into this meet treating it as if it was next month's World Cup in Beijing," he said.

"Our preparation hasn't been perfect because of my injury, so to get that score off the back of that is impressive and we're really pleased.

"We've already qualified for the World Cup, so this event was designed to boost our confidence.

"But it's exciting because a score like that next month will put us right into contention for Olympic qualification."

The British Championship silver went to Charles Calvert and Chris Mears, from the City of Leeds and Southampton clubs, with 320.55. Sheffield's Fred Woodward and James Milton took bronze with 282.06. The two pairs took the gold and silver British junior medals respectively.

Swain also collected a silver medal overall in the men's individual 3m contest.

He recorded a score of 426.50 points but was beaten to gold by Frenchman Damien Cely, who managed to get 453.25.

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