Kiwi wins diving gold at college champs

Springboard diver Liam Stone competed for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games. Photo / Greg Bowker
Springboard diver Liam Stone competed for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games. Photo / Greg Bowker

New Zealand springboard diver Liam Stone has won the gold medal in the one-metre diving event at the prestigious NCAA National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia.

Having won the preliminary event against 48 other divers with a personal best of 408.20, Stone stood firm under immense pressure from the other seven finalists to record a massive 453.70 and win by 15.30 points.

Stone, at 19, headed to the United States to train and compete, receiving a full four year scholarship to the University of Tennessee.

His efforts in Atlanta made the Kiwi just the fourth diver from the university to exceed 400 points, and he did it twice in the one day.

Needing 74 points from his last dive, Stone nailed his forward two-and-a-half somersault with a full twist for 81.60 points and an historic first place.

New Zealand national selector and former Olympic coach Dennis Gear said Stone's performance was "the most outstanding result ever achieved by a New Zealand diver, surpassing the bronze medals New Zealand has previously won at Commonwealth Games".

Stone competes tomorrow in the three-metre event.

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