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Mat finish keeps Cowen on the up
Keighley’s Mat Cowen was overjoyed as his rise towards the top continued after he finished fifth in the 28-metre high diving at the FINA World Championships.
Fellow Brit Gary Hunt took silver in the same event but Cowen was one of his country’s better performers as Team GB only gained two medals in the pool.
It represented great progress for the 26-year-old from Cross Roads, who started the season in the Red Bull Cliff diving series with a last-place finish in La Rochelle, France.
And speaking after his best dive yet in Barcelona, Cowen – who moved up from seventh place after the first round – was delighted with his performance and his overall improvement.
Cowen said: “That’s the proudest I’ve been after any dive this year. I can see and feel the progression that I’ve made throughout the season.
“It was a nice change away from the Red Bull dives. We got a lot longer preparation going into the event and I think that was better for me. Barcelona is a great place and the crowd were just amazing and really got behind us.
“The whole event was a different experience with all of the other disciplines around us.
“We got to watch all of the other divers, such as Tom Daley, and they all stayed behind to watch us as well.”
Three-time Red Bull World Series champion Hunt, from Southamp-ton but based in Paris, was pipped for the gold medal by nine-time World Series winner Orlando Duque of Colombia, while the bronze went to Mexico’s Jonathan Paredes.
Blake Aldridge, another British diver known for his Olympic synchro partnership with Tom Daley, was tenth.
“All the top divers were on top form and I thought I did really well to stay there in seventh on the first day.
“I then almost took fourth as well, but I just got beat on the final dive by a point.
“But I was absolutely over the moon to get fifth and I can’t complain with that at all.”
Cowen travels to Boston, USA, on August 22 for the next leg of the Red Bull series, where he hopes to continue improving.
“It’s good to take that form into Boston now. I’ve never dived in competition out of Europe before so that will also be a good experience for me.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to improve even further and reach my targets for the end of the season.”
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