Belfast Telegraph

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Jack Laugher all smiles after perfect start to Commonwealth hat-trick quest

By Paul Walker

Jack Laugher made a successful start to his bid for a Commonwealth Games hat-trick as he won gold in the men's one-metre springboard yesterday.

The 23-year-old defended the title he won in Glasgow four years ago with a score of 438.00 here to take gold ahead of Australia's James Connor (412.45).

"It was difficult to come out here as defending champion, but I trusted myself and felt strong and confident," Laugher said.

Laugher will now look to follow up in the 3m springboard today, and in the 3m synchronised springboard in which he will compete alongside Chris Mears tomorrow.

As Laugher took gold, Scotland could celebrate a silver for 20-year-old James Heatly - the nation's first diving medal since Heatly's grandfather Sir Peter Heatly won three gold medals in the 1950s.

There was silver for England's Alicia Blagg and Katherine Torrance in the women's synchronised 3m springboard as Australia took gold.

Blagg won gold in the event four years ago with the now retired Rebecca Gallantree and placed on the podium once more as Esther Qin and Georgia Sheehan took gold.

England's Lisa Whiteside booked a place in the boxing semi-finals and a guaranteed medal after scraping a split decision win over India's Pinki Rani in their women's flyweight bout.

The 32-year-old is a two-time world medallist but has been forced to wait for her chance on the big stage due to her former domestic rivalry with all-conquering Nicola Adams.

Whiteside commented: "I got the decision and all I intend to do now is move on and claim that gold."

Whiteside's team-mate Sandy Ryan will face Rosie Eccles of Wales in the women's 69kg final. Ryan edged Marie-Jeanne Parent of Canada while Eccles scored a career-best split decision win over home favourite Kaye Scott.

England's Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf will play for bronze in the beach volleyball today after a semi-final defeat to Australia.

The host nation prevailed 21-13 21-16 at Coolangatta beachfront, leaving England to face New Zealand after Canada booked the other final place.

Tracey Neville's England are through to the semi-finals of the netball after a first Commonwealth Games win over New Zealand put them top of Pool B.

England prevailed against the 2006 and 2010 champions 54-45.

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