Commonwealth Games 2002
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Swimming Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Lashko takes first gold
England's Jane Smith in action
England's Jane Smith took the bronze medal
BBC Sport Online's Saj Chowdhury

Australia's Irina Lashko claimed the first gold medal of the Commonwealth Games with victory in the women's 1m springboard.

The Russian-born veteran held her nerve in a close battle with Canadian world champion Blythe Hartley, with England's Jane Smith taking bronze.

Lashko took the lead after the first round but a mistake on her second dive handed Hartley the advantage.

A poor dive from Hartley in the penultimate round let Lashko back in and she took gold with a total of 302.82, more than 15 points clear.

Smith produced a nerveless final dive to claim bronze with 274.71 points, comfortably ahead of Australia's Rebecca Gilmore.

"It all paid off in the end. I'm getting old now and my mum and dad keep asking me when I'm going to retire," said Smith.

"I always wanted to do Manchester and knew it would be a fabulous atmosphere. The crowd support gets your adrenaline going.

"A few little claps can be intimidating but I really thrive on the noise."

Emilie Heymans recovered from a disastrous opening dive to take fifth place ahead of her Canadian team-mate Melanie Rinaldi.

Women's 1m springboard final

1 Irina Lashko (Aus) 302.82
2 Blythe Hartley (Can) 287.04
3 Jane Smith (Eng) 274.71
4 Rebecca Gilmore (Aus) 257.43
5 Emilie Heymans (Can) 256.83
6 Melanie Rinaldi (Can) 240.15

BBC Five Live's Bob Ballard
"The diving team are expecting more medals"
Bronze medallist Jane Smith
"I am over the moon"

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25 Jul 02 | Features
23 Jul 02 | Front Page
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