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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Swimming Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Despatie claims gold for Canada
England's Tony Ally
Ally clinched silver with an excellent final dive
BBC Sport Online's Saj Chowdhury

Canada's Alexandre Despatie recovered from a poor start to take gold in the men's 1m springboard final.

The 17-year-old was a firm favourite after cruising through the qualifiers, but a poor second dive saw him slip to fourth in the standings.

Despite the brief slump, he maintained his composure and worked his way back to top the standings on 404.55.

Afterwards the Canadian revealed he was delighted with gold following such a dismal start.

He explained: "I got very, very scared. In the past, when it's gone badly, it just kept on getting worse."

open quote
The team is on fire and we are ready for it
end quote
England's silver medallist Tony Ally

England's Tony Ally led at the halfway stage but had to settle for silver on 386.37 despite an excellent last dive.

Ally's final flourish helped him overtake Australia's Steven Barnett, who finished in the bronze medal position on 382.65.

Ally said: "The crowd were superb. I showed them what I wanted to do and I'm thrilled to bits.

"There's going to be a medal (for England) in every event, so keep watching.

"The team is on fire and we are ready for it."

Despatie, who won gold in the 10m platform at the 1998 Games aged just 13, warmed up for the knockout stage by finishing first in the preliminary round.

And his semi-final total of 420.21 saw him comfortably qualify for the final along with fellow medal favourite Robert Newbery of Australia and Canada's Philippe Comtois.

Newbery finished fourth in the final just behind team-mate Barnett.

Comtois snatched the third qualifying place with an inward two-and-a-half somersaults piked dive which scored an amazing 83.64, and ended up fifth in the final.

Barnett booked his place in the final after coming out on top in the first semi-final.

England's Mark Shipman qualified for the final ahead of team-mate Ally in second place, but could only finish sixth in the final.

Mens 1m springboard final

1 Alexandre Despatie (Can) 404.55
2 Tony Ally (Eng) 386.37
3 Steven Barnett (Aus) 382.65
4 Robert Newbery (Aus) 377.37
5 Philippe Comtois (Can)367.17
6 Mark Shipman (Eng) 349.86

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BBC Five Live's Bob Ballard
"The diving team are expecting more medals"
England's Tony Ally
"I'm thrilled to bits"

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25 Jul 02 | Swimming
25 Jul 02 | Features
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