Russian pair in perfect harmony to claim diving gold

Baku, June 19, AZERTAC

Crew-cut partners Ilia Molchanov and Nikita Nikolaev gave a stunning masterclass in the art of performing in perfect harmony on their way to a gold medal in the men's synchronised 3m springboard on Friday.

Molchanov missed out on gold in the men's 1m springboard on Thursday when he was edged into silver by compatriot Nikita Shleikher.

Shleikher was at poolside, joining in the applause, as 18-year-old Molchanov made sure there was no last-minute hitch this time. Russia finished on 324.69 points.

He and partner Nikolaev, who is 15, even have their hair cut similarly short with the letters RUS shaved into one side, and they are both CSKA Moscow fans.

Molchanov said: "We are very happy with that. Even if we had a big advantage, we still thought the athletes from the other countries were so good that we could never be sure of victory. That's why we kept fighting until the end."

With the Russians so far out in front, the real battle turned out to be for the silver and bronze medals.

Ross Haslam and James Heatly of Great Britain managed to score 58.14 on their final dive - a hugely difficult forward two-and-a-half somersault with two twists - to hang on to second with 286.05 points.

It was a second medal for Heatly, who took bronze in the 1m springboard on Thursday.

German 18-year-olds Nico Herzog and Frithjof Seidel finished strongly but had to settle for third on 284.22 points.

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