Swain shows his potential in first Olympic final

PUBLISHED: 11:52 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:07 26 October 2009

PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM - GB Diving Team - 28th LEN European Swimming Championships 2006 - Budapest, Hungary - 01/08/06.

Copyright - Simon Wilkinson - 07811 267706.

Great Britain's Ben Swain.

PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM - GB Diving Team - 28th LEN European Swimming Championships 2006 - Budapest, Hungary - 01/08/06. Copyright - Simon Wilkinson - 07811 267706. Great Britain's Ben Swain.

Copyright - Simon Wilkinson - 07811 267706.

FORMER WGC schoolboy Ben Swain showed his diving potential in the Olympic pool in Beijing. Swain, who went to Monk s Walk School, and diving partner Nick Robinson-Baker finished seventh in a world-class field in the men s 3m synchronised springboard final

FORMER WGC schoolboy Ben Swain showed his diving potential in the Olympic pool in Beijing.

Swain, who went to Monk's Walk School, and diving partner Nick Robinson-Baker finished seventh in a world-class field in the men's 3m synchronised springboard final.

It was the best performance yet by a British pair in the synchro diving competition in Beijing, beating the lacklustre efforts of British boy wonder Tom Daley and Blake Aldridge in the 10m synchro.

The 3m event proved to be the closest diving final so far of the Olympic Games. The young British pair, who have only been diving together for just over a year, took to the boards in their first Olympics looking calm.

Swain, 22, and Robinson-Baker performed their first required dive well and as the partnership that opened up the final they showed their intent to the rest of the world.

As the divers moved on to perform their optional dives only 13 points separated the field.

The Brits' first optional dive was the front 3 1/2 somersaults piked and their synchronisation was excellent but Robinson-Baker ran out of time and his entry was short and they dropped marks.

But after the German and Ukrainian pairs also missed their dives, the Brits were still in the mix for medals.

Robinson-Baker and Swain, whose family live in Welwyn, took the boards in the penultimate round and performed their hardest dive - the reverse 1 1/2 someraults 2 1/2 twists piked.

The dive was executed excellently to give them their highest score of 81.90 and move them back up the leaderboard.

The Chinese partnership continued the country's dominance of the diving events by putting the gold medal out of touch in the fifth round.

They showed their excellence with one of their hardest dives and went into the final round 40 points ahead of the field.

The home pair of Feng Wang and Kai Qin scored 469.08 to reclaim the Olympic title for China.

As the competition entered the final round only 10 points separated the British duo in seventh place and the Ukrainian team in second spot.

Robinson-Baker and Swain finished excellently with their front 1 somersault 2 1/2 twists, but found themselves being harshly marked by the judges and finished in seventh place overall with a total score of 402.36.

Going into the competition many would have expected the Canadian pair of Alexandre Despatie and Arturo Miranda to be in the fight for medals.

But the world silver medallists did not look their best throughout the competition and they finished in fifth place after missing their fifth round dive.

The Russian team of Dmitriy Sautin and Yuriv Kunakov secured the silver medal with their final round dive after scoring a huge 88.20 points.

They scored a total of 421.98 overall.

The surprise pair of the competition was the Ukrainian team of Illya Kvasha and Oleksiy Prygorov.

After having a shaky start, the divers moved up the field with their optional dives a won the bronze medal with a total score of 415.05.

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