Last updated on June 25th, 2023 at 08:44 PM
Team GB added three more medals to the tally on day five of the European Games, with bronze medals for divers Ben Cutmore and Matthew Dixon in the Men’s Platform Synchro, Aaliyah Powell in the women’s -62kg taekwondo, and fencer Will Deary in the men’s individual sabre.
Cutmore and Dixon were especially delighted to break onto the podium having only been paired up together in recent weeks, and came into their first-ever competition on limited training specifically as a synchro partnership.
However, quickly settling into their diving list, Cutmore and Dixon showcased the ability to combine the force of their individual talents and delivered a final tally of 372.69 to round out the podium places behind Ukraine and Italy.
Reacting to the pairs bronze medal performance, Dixon said: “It means loads, it’s our first competition together – we haven’t done much training and for our first competition to get a bronze medal is great.
“We both know we can do the individual dives, so as long as we communicated well to take off at the same time that would set the foundation [for a good performance].”
Commenting on the opportunity to compete for Team GB at the European Games, Cutmore said, “I think it’s an honour really because our national championships which were a few weeks ago were really tough individually and the synchro teams were formed around those selections.
“To get put together with Dixon for the synchro is an achievement for me because I looked up to this kid when I was ten years old, so to be diving with him now is quite exciting for me.”
Grace Reid and Desharne Bent-Ashmeil meanwhile flew the flag for Great Britain in the Women’s 3m Springboard, finishing fifth and sixth respectively.
In fencing, Will Deary became the first Team GB athlete in history to win a medal with the sabre. Since fencing first featured at the birth of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, no Team GB athlete has ever made the podium spot in a sabre event despite successes in foil and epee.
On learning of his accomplishment, Deary said, “I didn’t know that – that’s quite cool!
“I wish it was a gold to be honest, but we wouldn’t be athletes if we didn’t have that competitiveness […] but I’m very proud to represent Team GB and be here competing.”
A tightly fought quarter-final battle with Italy’s Samele saw Deary take the win by a single point to claim bronze. His semi-final match came down to a nail-biting 14-14 finale, with Poland’s Kaczkowski snatching the final point in front of a jubilant home crowd before going on to claim silver overall.
“I’m a bit heartbroken about the last match,” said Deary.
“To lose by one, it’s pretty hard to handle but it’s been a good day of fencing – I can look at the positives obviously the last one hurts a little. I don’t believe you can go to any competition and not believe you’re going to do it, so there’s always that belief. Hopefully, this gets the ball rolling and we can keep going.”
And over in the taekwondo arena, Aaliyah Powell continued Team GB’s medal streak by taking bronze in the women’s -62kg category.
Despite some mixed emotions after Powell’s final match, the young talent continues to keep her eyes firmly set on a place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“It’s all just learning and processing. Qualification for Paris isn’t over yet, there are still a lot more competitions to come, a lot more work and areas to improve on.
“I feel like as we get closer to the Games, for athletes from Olympic sports, that clock’s ticking down and we’re on the final straight now.
I just try to take it step by step, match by match, competition by competition, and do the best I can. In the end, all of it will add together and, hopefully, we’ll get the result that we want.”