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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 20:03 GMT 21:03 UK

Despatie soars to second gold

By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport Online at Manchester Aquatics Centre

Alexandre Despatie blew away his rivals to claim his second diving gold of the Commonwealth Games.

The 17-year-old Canadian, who won the 1m springboard final on Thursday, was set for a golden double after taking a seven-point lead following the preliminary of 3m springboard.

Despite his lead being, by his own high standards, relatively small over second-placed Australian Matthew Helm, Despatie finally showed true class with six immaculate dives in the final.

The highlight of the set was a low rip reverse three-and-a-half somersault in the tuck position, which brought the crowd to their feet.

The major battle was for the silver and bronze positions between 1m springboard silver medallist Tony Ally of England, Canadian Philippe Comtois and Robert Newbery of Australia.

But it was Englishman Ally, roared on by the mainly partisan support at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, who held his nerve with an impressive reverse two-and-a-half somersault in a pike to claim second spot.

Newbery took the bronze. Despatie now has won three gold medals in total, his first coming at the age of 13 during the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

However the Canadian will be seeking to increase that total to four, when he attempts to defend his 10m platform title on Saturday.

"I'm not going to think about that. I can't think about the results. I'm just going to focus on the task," he said.

Meanwhile, Loudy Turky of Australia clinched gold in the women's 10m highboard final.

She fought off the challenge of Canadians, Emilie Heymans, who collected silver and 1m springboard silver medallist Blythe Hartley.


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