Harper secures Olympic individual springboard place

25 May 2024

Yasmin Harper secured her place in the Olympic Women's 3m Springboard event for Paris 2024 after triumphing in a thrilling contest on day three of the Speedo Aquatics GB Diving Championships.

Already sure of her Olympic debut as part of the Women's 3m Synchro pairing with Scarlett Mew Jensen, World Championship finalist Harper took control of the Saturday afternoon final with a storming opening Forward 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 Twist Pike (5152B) worth 70.50 - and from there, she kept up the quality and composure to ensure she kept the high-quality challenge of silver medallist Grace Reid at bay. 

A stunning fourth-round Reverse 2 1/2 Somersaults Pike (305B) worth 73.50 helped Yasmin to an overall tally of 326.10, well above the finals points mark required for Olympic nomination. Paired with her British title success and her points tally in the prelims, it confirmed the City of Sheffield athlete's place in the individual 3m Springboard Olympic event come the summer. 

"This one is special as well [as the synchro selection], it means so much to me. To be able to do it on the day and be there doing your dives, and after that knowing that I'll be able to compete it individually at an Olympic Games is really special," she said.

"Grace is a veteran in the event and she's amazing, she really knows how to put the pressure on. So it was great to have her in there putting that on me and seeing how I could cope with that, so I'm really pleased. You always need that because the pressure doesn't end, it just keeps coming, more and more!"

Yasmin was cheered on by the vociferous support of her City of Sheffield teammates - something that meant the world to the Paris-bound athlete.

"I really enjoy the atmosphere and the noise of the support, I find it really motivating. I am so grateful for all the support that my teammates, family, everyone brings to me, because it means a lot. To have so many people backing you really means a lot," she added.

Behind Harper, two-time Olympian Reid stayed steady and delivered some strong dives to claim British silver and put herself in selection contention to make a third consecutive Games.

Yasmin Harper Grace Reid Amy Rollinson 3m Springboard podium AGB Diving Champs 2024
Grace Reid (left), Yasmin Harper (centre) and Amy Rollinson with their medals

A history-maker as the first individual female British diving medallist at a World Championships back in February, Grace built back from the slightest of drops in round two to move clear of the rest of the pack and keep in touch with Yasmin, 66 points for her third-round Reverse 2 1/2 Somersaults Pike (305B) the highlight, before a composed Forward 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 Twist Pike (5152B) in the final round saw her close on 307.80 points. The bronze medal went to Amy Rollinson on 264.20, just ahead of fourth-placed Desharne Bent-Ashmeil on 259.95.

Speaking after receiving her British silver medal, Grace said: “I’m a little bit overwhelmed, it’s just been a massive journey. Three years ago I wanted nothing to do with the sport and I really battled and didn’t think I would be here three years later. It is testament to the village of people behind me that have helped pick me back up and stick me back together. 

"It’s been so pressurised and immensely tough to just hold your nerve and I knew today was going to be a mental battle more than physical. I’m pleased with some of the performances I have done this year but every opportunity has been a learning curve and it has all served today.”

"It’s always an anxious wait and obviously I would have liked to have gotten over that score, and feel more comfortable, but I’ve done everything I can do [to put herself in Olympic selection contention]. When I stood on those boards today I knew I left no stone unturned and that’s all I can ask myself for."

Spectators at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre got the chance to see Olympic-bound synchro pairing Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Lois Toulson in action as their Paris podium push builds, the double World Championship-medal-winning pair impressing on their way to the British Women's 10m Synchro title. 

Fresh from placing first and second respectively in the individual event on Friday night, Andrea and Lois delivered two solid requireds to open things up, and then build towards a brilliant finale with their closing Back 2 1/2 Somersaults 1 1/2 Twists Pike (5253B), which scored them a huge 80.64 points on the way to an overall tally of 308.16. 

"We've always got things to improve on. The road to Paris starts now and I'm itching to get there," said Spendolini-Sirieix. 

Earlier in the day, Noah Williams smashed through the 500-point mark in the prelims of the Men's 10m Platform to ensure he will be diving last when the final brings the curtain down on the 2024 Speedo Aquatics GB Diving Championships on Sunday afternoon.

The Tokyo Olympian - who has already secured his Team GB place for Paris as part of the Men's 10m Synchro pairing with Tom Daley - notched two dive scores of more than 90 points and looked in fine form throughout on his way to an impressive overall 506.85, with Robbie Lee qualifying second and Kyle Kothari third. 

Full results and entry lists are available on DiveRecorder.

Every finals session of the Speedo Aquatics GB Diving Championships will be broadcast live on the BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app. Every other session will be streamed live on the Aquatics GB YouTube channel.

Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix Lois Toulson silhouettes 10m Synchro AGB Diving Champs 2024
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Lois Toulson competing in the Women's 10m Synchro