Diving to kick off on Monday: Great Britain and Italy the favourites
The diving competition will open tomorrow, 15 August at 13:00, in the impressive setting of the Swimming Stadium. It starts with the team event, with seven participating nations including the favourites Germany and Ukraine, but also France and Great Britain, respectively silver and bronze medallists at the last world championships in Budapest. According to Len's new regulations, the team competition requires teams to be composed of a minimum of two to a maximum of four team members, at least one man and one woman, who must perform two individual dives and one mixed synchronised dive, both from the springboard and the platform, for a total of six dives in which all six groups of rotations must be present.
Competing for the 13 European titles, which include the men's and women's individual and synchronised events from the 3m springboard and the 10m platform, individual events from the 1m springboard and mixed 3m and 10m synchronised events, there will be 110 athletes (55 men, 55 women) from 23 different nations.
Great Britain are in Rome with a strong and compact team. Among the 14 athletes selected, there are the six medallists from the recent world championships in Budapest: Anthony Harding, James Heatly, Jack Laugher, Grace Reid, Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Noah Williams.
Jack Laugher will compete as a real star, after making history in Budapest by becoming the first British diver to win three medals, all silver, in a single world championship: in the individual event from the 1m and 3m springboard and, from the same height, paired with new partner Anthony Harding in the men's synchro event. With British star Thomas Daley taking a sabbatical after the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, it will surely be the young prodigy Oleksii Sereda to be on the limelight in the men's 10m platform event. The Ukrainian claimed the gold medal in Kiev in 2019 in front of his home crowd. He was only 13 years old and was the youngest European diver to ever secure a European title. In June, he finished second in the mixed 10m synchronised event at the world championships in Budapest, which is so far his greatest international achievement.
Huge expectations are on Italy, the host nation. In the mixed 3m synchronised event Chiara Pellacani and Matteo Santoro are the big favourites on the eve, having won the 2020 European title and the world championship silver medal in Budapest in the mixed 3m syncronised event. Santoro, 15, was the absolute star at the European Junior Diving Championships who were held in Otopeni, Romania, last July. The Roman athlete managed to reach the top step of the podium four times, making him the most successful and therefore most eagerly awaited Under-18 European diver at Roma 2022.
At the EuroJunior, Italy ranked first in the medal tally, winning six golds and 12 medals in total, while Great Britain won the most number of medals (13). The Germans also finished in double figures (10), led by Lotti Hubert, junior champion in the women's 3m springboard event and silver medallist in the 1m springboard event.
It will be the first European championships without Patrick Hausding, the German diver who collected a considerable number of European medals over the years. He retired in May four months before Roma 2022. At the European championships the youngest athlete is Alisa Zakarjan from Armenia, who will turn 15 on 6 September 2007. The oldest is Frenchman Gary Hunt, 38, who will also take part in the high diving competition. For diving he is only entered in the team and mixed synchronised events.