There is nothing we regret - Couch
TONIA COUCH and Sarah Barrow refused to be too disappointed at missing out on an Olympic medal at the Aquatics Centre yesterday.
The Plymouth pair had gone into London 2012 with a realistic chance of claiming a podium finish, in the women's 10m synchro after winning the European Championships and claiming a World Cup bronze medal in the run up to the Games.
But on the day their rivals hit top form in the optional dives and Couch and Barrow, who were second after the opening two rounds, had to settle for fifth place.
China, Mexico and Canada claimed the medals with Australia just edging GB out by less than two points for fourth.
However, Couch and Barrow did have the satisfaction of finishing as Europe's top pair and with a new international personal best.
Couch said: "I think we both had a great experience.
"Our first two dives were just brilliant, but our (three) optional ones weren't as good, although we still scored a lot higher than we did when we became European champions.
"It was still a great performance.
"I think that is the best we have dived internationally, so we can't be too down about it. We've scored the highest we have.
"It would have been hard to get that medal on the day. The top three did deserve them.
"We would have needed a personal best because the other three who got a medal dived brilliantly."
Couch added: "There is nothing we both regret because the others were the best.
"We just have to do our optional dives a few more times and hit them on the head more often."
Couch and Barrow had sent the crowd wild when they took the lead after the first round with a stunning opening dive.
Their second compulsory dive was also brilliant and they were in second place, two points behind the Chinese pair of Ruolin Chen and Hao Wang.
But their medal hopes went in round three when they dropped from second to joint seventh with a low scoring, inward three-and-a-half somersault.
Their fourth dive was solid and their final dive was their highest scoring by a mile and moved them up to third with just three pairs left to go.
But the Canadians and Mexicans held their nerve to produce great final efforts and leave Couch and Barrow fifth.
Barrow insisted that the vocal and expectant crowd had helped rather than put pressure on them.
"We were definitely encouraged by it," said Barrow.
"The noise was so loud, even better than the World Cup. It is better when you finish a dive and come out and you hear everybody cheering and clapping."
Although the pair, who are both 23, missed out on a medal this time, Couch believes there is a lot more to come from her partnership with lifelong friend Barrow.
She said: "That was mine and Sarah's first Olympics together. We have only been diving together as a pair for about two years.
"Everyone else has been together for a long time. The Canadians have been diving together since 2005, whereas we (GB) have mixed and matched because of injuries and stuff.
"Sarah and I have got more to give and I am excited about it – bring on the next one I guess."
Couch had been expecting to be competing later on in the individual 10m competition, but was controversially left out by British Diving performance director Alexei Evangulov, despite being Britain's most successful female diver ever.
So, what will she and Barrow do now for the next 12 days?
"We are going to chill out now," Couch said. "We have had such a long time training hard. It has been so intense.
"I think I'm just going to get myself a McDonald's or a pizza. It is free and it has been teasing me every day. I can't wait to just chill out."
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