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Italian diver Matteo Santoro, European champion in 2020 and silver medallist at the recent world championships in Budapest from the 3m springboard sinchronised event with Chiara Pellacani, proved to be the biggest stars at the European Junior Diving Championships that took place in Otopeni, Romania, from 18 to 24 July. The athlete from Rome managed to get on the highest step of the podium four times, thus becoming the most titled and therefore most eagerly awaited Under-18 European diver in the run-up to Roma 2022.

In the individual events in the men’s 1m springboard Santoro beat his compatriot Stefano Belotti (478.10) by just 0.05, joined on the podium by Ireland's Jake Passmore behind with 455.00 points. In the 3m springboard, the 15-year-old Italian diver, scoring 585.60 points, preceded Germany's Jonathan Schauer (547.10) and Britain's Leon Baker, who took bronze with 532.10.

The other two gold medals came in the men’s 3m synchro event paired with Stefano Belotti and in the team event with Francesco Casalini, Valerio Mosca and Elisa Pizzini. In the synchronised event, the Italian duo with a performance of 284.49 overcame Britain's Leon Baker and Hugo Thamas (280.32) and Croatia's David Ledinski and Matej Nevescanin, third with 215.16. In the team competition the Italians scored a total of 300.85 points, ahead of Great Britain's Maya Hutty, Oscar Kane, Leon Baker and Oscar Willcox on 292.90 points. Germany (281.30) took the lowest step of the podium with Jaden Eikermann Gregorchuk, Lotti Hubert, Espen Prenzyna and Julina Schnabel.

At the EuroJuniors, Italy ranked first in the medal table, winning six gold medals and 12 medals in total. Great Britain, on the other hand, won the most number of medals (13). The Germans also finished in double figures (10), led by Lotti Hubert, champion in the women’s 3m springboard event and silver in the 1-metre springboard.

On 11 August, Rome 2022 awaits the arrival of the junior European champions from Otopeni, with an eye on the young Italian Matteo Santoro, who is called upon to do well in front of his home crowd.

Photos Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto Use of photographs is only permitted for publications registered for editorial purposes. Credits must be mentioned.

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