Matty Lee and Noah Williams claim Commonwealth gold

·3 min read
Matty Lee and Noah Williams claim Commonwealth gold

Matty Lee and Noah Williams conquered crowd-induced cramp to take Commonwealth gold in the men’s 3m springboard synchro.

The Leeds-born star won his first major title since Olympic glory with Tom Daley in Tokyo in front of a frenzied home crowd in Birmingham.

The 24-year-old finally got his hands on a Commonwealth medal having missed out on Glasgow due to injury and competed at Gold Coast 2018 with a niggle.

Lee’s medal hopes were undermined by both he and Williams feeling bad cramp after their second dive, which they attributed to the adrenalin brought on by a massive crowd.

Lee said: “I wasn’t comfortable one bit. We have never competed in front of a crowd before and we might not experience that again, it was insane.

“We don’t know why (they cramped up) but we both had it at the same time and Noah was getting physio treatment in between dives.

“We dealt with it in exactly the way we wanted to and came out on top, because that was not an easy competition.”

Williams added: “I was struggling to walk at one point. In diving we never get crowds like this and with a home crowd, I put a lot of pressure on myself and I know Matty does.

“Halfway through I think my body realised what was going on and was like, ‘nah, I’m not having it.’ We made it through and got the gold which is what we came here to do.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

It was not an easy ride to top step for the pair with world bronze medallist Canada snapping at their heels.

They slipped down to silver medal position after their fourth dive, inward 3.5 somersaults, but retook the lead on the fifth and claimed overall victory by 15.93 points.

Like swimmer Tom Dean under the same roof this week, Lee has complete the unusual feat of adding a first Commonwealth medal to an Olympic gold medal.

He said: “An Olympic gold is the biggest achievement you can get, and that was a bit of a shock for me.

“This is something I’ve always wanted and Commonwealths was the main goal coming out of training for Tokyo. I knew we had a good chance of winning, so it adds to the accolades.”

Williams has stepped up to the task of partnering the best in the world and the pair won silver in their first competition together at last month’s World Championships.

When fans bought tickets for this session last September they did so under the impression they would be watching Daley, with Williams left to carry that weight.

He said: “I came second at the last Commonwealths with Matthew Dixon and we weren’t expected to medal.

“This was a completely different feeling. If it was Matty and Tom, it was guaranteed gold. There’s a lot of pressure on me to fill Tom Daley’s shoes, I guess.”

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