OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Miracle man Mears completes remarkable London 2012 campaign
MIRACLE man Chris Mears insists he still can’t believe his remarkable journey after completing a dream Olympic campaign by posting Great Britain’s best result in a 3m springboard diving final since 1984.
SUPERB ENDING: Chris Mears finished ninth but recorded the first-ever triple figure score for a British diver in the 3m springboard
Just three years after doctors gave Mears a five percent chance of survival after sustaining a ruptured spleen, the 19-year-old secured an unexpected ninth-place finish in the London 2012 final.
And the Games debutant, tipped as one of Team GB’s brightest prospects, admits he is still coming to terms with his incredible upturn in fortune so soon after being on the brink of death.
“I can't believe it. From what I've come from to be here, stood in front of a home crowd as well, is just a bit phenomenal,” he said, after posting a 439.75 points score.
“I loved the experience of competing in front of a home crowd. I'd like to do it once more, to be honest. I wish there was a final, final to go towards. But it's really weird that that was the end of my Olympics.
“I'm going to take away a lot from it, hopefully a lot of experience that I'll take away to Rio.”
Russia's Ilya Zakharov destroyed China's hopes of a clean sweep of all eight diving golds as he pipped Chinese pair Qin Kai and defending champion He Chong to Olympic glory.
Mears finished off his campaign in style as a fantastic forward four and a half somersaults with tuck earned him a remarkable 100.70 – the first time a Brit has scored more than 100 from a 3m springboard dive.
After finishing a credible fifth alongside Nick Robinson-Baker in the 3m synchro final, Mears secured an unexpected place in the semi-finals in the final qualifying spot before posting a personal best of 461 to book his place in the final.
“A brilliant way to end, I'd say. First time I've ever hit triple figures, 100.7, I really can't argue with that. I just used the home crowd,” he said
“I really went for it on the start, and gave myself the opportunity on the end and managed to bang a little finish on it. So I'm pretty impressed with that.”
© Sportsbeat 2012