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Jack Laugher sets sights on Tokyo gold for GB

Jack Laugher sets sights on Tokyo gold for GB
© Reuters
The 24-year-old has teamed up with Dan Goodfellow in the synchro discipline.

Jack Laugher used to vow he would quit diving once he realised his dream of Olympic gold, but one year out from Tokyo 2020 he maintains he is more motivated than ever to add to his historic triumph in Rio.

At the age of just 24, Laugher is already considered something of elder statesman within the GB set-up,  and now has the additional task of guiding his new team-mate Dan Goodfellow in the synchro discipline he has made his own.

Laugher, who won 3 metre synchro gold with Chris Mears in Rio, teamed up with Goodfellow, a bronze medallist in the 10m synchro at the same Games, last year after Mears opted to take a break from his sport.

And the pair have enjoyed success ahead of schedule by taking silver at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea last week, further convincing Laugher that he was correct in continuing his quest for more Olympic glory.

Laugher told PA: "I always said if I won an Olympic gold medal I would retire on top, but when you're 21 and you achieve your dream it's very different.

"If you look back at the athlete I was three years ago, I've completely evolved. I'm more mature, I'm a better trainer and I've got a lot more skills. I've got that fire and passion to want to achieve more."

Jack Laugher
Jack Laugher won Olympic gold in Rio alongside Chris Mears (David Davies/PA)

The speed of Goodfellow's switch from platform to springboard diving is not to be under-estimated and Laugher admitted he had  "laughed in the face" of team officials when they set a World Championship medal target at the start of the year..

But under the tutelage of Laugher, Goodfellow has evolved as a fine replacement for Mears, and having already qualified a place for Tokyo they look increasingly like to mount a sturdy defence of Laugher's title.

Goodfellow said: "It's been really tough – platform and springboard are pretty much two different sports, and joining Jack who has so much experience.

"We've done a lot of hard training and competitions that maybe didn't go our way, but when it came down to it we got that silver medal and we can look forward to taking that spot at the Olympics."

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