Olympic selection joy for teenage diver Jack Laugher

Jack Laugher
Jack Laugher

North Yorkshire diver Jack Laugher said he is overwhelmed to have been selected for London 2012 at the age of just 17.

The Ripon teenager told BBC Radio York it was an absolutely amazing feeling to know three years' hard work had finally paid off.

"I didn't really expect it so early in my career to be honest," he said.

"Normally divers peak around 23 or 24, so I thought 2016 was a more a realistic prospect - I'm so happy it has come around this way."

Laugher, who is a member of the City of Leeds club, competes in the 3 metre and 1 metre springboard and was the first British diver to hold both the Junior World and European Championship titles in 2010.

Last weekend he won the British 3m springboard title.

But three years ago a serious accident threatened to end his career before it had begun.

Jack Laugher
Laugher is the British 3m springboard champion

"I fractured my arm, broke it badly, had to have a big operation to fix it and thought 'that's the end of it now'," he recalled.

"But I got myself back together again and I've been working for this since then, trying my best to stay focused.

"The Olympics is the pinnacle of any athlete's career, and to be at home makes it even more incredible."

The fact the Games take place during the school holidays is an additional bonus.

"Not having school work to do as well is a weight off my shoulders," he smiled. Laugher is currently taking Maths, Chemistry, Physics and PE at AS level.

City of Leeds is well represented in the British diving team for London 2012. Rebecca Gallantree will take part in her second Olympics, while Sarah Barrow will partner Tonia Crouch in the 10m synchro.

Like Laugher, 16-year-old Hannah Starling, from Leeds, and Alicia Bragg, 15, from Wakefield, will be making their Olympic debuts.