Candid Laugher admits nerves got the better of him - and apologies to everyone back home

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Laugher, 26, was unable to deliver alongside new partner Dan Goodfellow at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre
Laugher, 26, was unable to deliver alongside new partner Dan Goodfellow at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre

By James Toney in Tokyo

Jack Laugher admitted nerves got the better of him after a disappointing defence to his Olympic title in Tokyo.

Laugher won 3m synchro gold with Chris Mears in Rio five years ago, Britain's first-ever diving title at the Games.

But his challenge, with new partner Dan Goodfellow, never managed to ignite.

At the test event in Tokyo earlier this year they set a 440.94 personal best that would have been enough for bronze here.

But they struggled throughout, their performance more reminiscent of their show at the recent European Championships.

"Springboard is a bit of bitch sometimes and it can go south very quickly. It was a tough day," admitted Laugher, whose title defence was broadcast live on Eurosport and Discovery+.

TOKYO 2020 - A SHOCK, A PIECE OF HISTORY AND AN INCREDIBLE 1-2 FINISH - TOKYO TODAY DAY 4
TOKYO 2020 - A SHOCK, A PIECE OF HISTORY AND AN INCREDIBLE 1-2 FINISH - TOKYO TODAY DAY 4

"We've competed two other times this year, we had a brilliant event here and a real stinker at the European Championships, this is another one unfortunately.

"We've worked really hard but people at home just see this, rather than the hard work we've put in.

"Usually I'd be quite sad but I know how hard we've worked, I just apologise to everyone at home that we didn't get the result we wanted.

"Our training has been really good, I feel it didn't reflect what we've been training like. It's really hard to explain how nerve wracking compete at the Olympic Games is and it's a big ask for us to get medals at our first Olympics together.

"We're really proud of what we've achieved, this is just a bad day and everyone has them.

"The errors were made were because we had too much adrenaline, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It wasn't a great competition in terms of scores, that shows how difficult it has been for us all in the last 18 months."

When Mears retired to focus on his career on the DJ decks, Laugher joined forces with Goodfellow, who had partnered Tom Daley to 10m synchro bronze in Rio.

And hopes were high after they won silver at their first World Championships together and gold at the World Cup in Tokyo just three months ago.

TOKYO 2020 - 'IT'S QUITE SPECIAL' - GEORGIA TAYLOR-BROWN ON HER INJURY COMEBACK AND HER SILVER MEDAL
TOKYO 2020 - 'IT'S QUITE SPECIAL' - GEORGIA TAYLOR-BROWN ON HER INJURY COMEBACK AND HER SILVER MEDAL

Laugher will now focus on his 3m individual event, in which he claimed silver at the last Olympics and bronze at the 2019 Worlds.

"I need to iron out the mistakes and keep moving forward," he added. "I need to reset again but I'm confident."

Meanwhile, Goodfellow insisted he had no regrets about his switch from platform to springboard diving, despite watching Tom Daley and Matty Lee take gold together earlier this week.

"It was absolutely the right thing to do, I'm enjoying my springboard diving and coming into training every day without worrying about getting injured," he said.

"We've had some very good results so it's 100 percent the right decision.

"We were both a bit nervous but we also felt really good and we've been training well. We didn't have a good Europeans but we still felt very positive.

"In springboard diving the margin for error is so small and with dives this difficult you can easily make mistakes."

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, the Streaming Home of the Olympics.

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