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Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 19:31 GMT 20:31 UK

Lashko lands second gold

By Charlie Henderson
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

Irina Lashko has won her second title of the Commonwealth Games with victory in the three-metre springboard diving.

The gold completed an Australian sweep of the women's medals following Lashko's win in the one-metre springboard and Loudy Tourky's victory on the 10-metre board.

Canada's Emilie Heymans finished in second with Jane Smith of England taking the bronze.

"The first gold medal was indescribable but the second is bloody amazing," Lashko said.

"I don't worry about the pressure, I just concentrate on my dives.

"I am so happy to bring back Commonwealth gold for Australia, it's beautiful," she added.

The Russian-born diver, who gained Australian citizenship in 1999, resumed the evening session with a healthy 18-point lead over her nearest rival, England's Jane Smith.

And although that lead fluctuated, prior to her fifth and final dive she again enjoyed the same margin over the rest of the field that she had built up through the preliminaries.

She was virtually guaranteed gold and duly sealed the victory as her rivals fought over the minor medals.

Heymans was the big mover in the final and put in five strong dives to move from fourth, after the preliminaries, to second overall.

For her third dive she was awarded 76.50 points - the best mark of the night and went on to secure her second silver of the week.

And to complete a trio of double medal winners, Smith won a fierce battle with Blythe Hartley for her second bronze.

The pair were separated by two points going into the final round.

"I'm over the moon again - I finished with a great dive"
Jane Smith

And although the Englishwoman benefited from the Canadian's loose dive, she still had to perform under intense pressure to secure the final place on the podium in a superb finale to the event.

Her fifth dive was the best of the round and was second to Heymans' effort in the marks stakes.

When the judges decision came out at 73.95 the home crowd raised the roof.

"When I came out of the water I knew I had got a medal and you can't believe what a great feeling that is," Smith said.

However, by that stage the main prize was all but in the bag.

Lashko was a class apart.


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