Lois caps glittering year with top award

Lois Toulson is making a big splash in the diving pool after returning from the Far East with gold and silver medals.

Lois Toulson is making a big splash in the diving pool after returning from the Far East with gold and silver medals.

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Cleckheaton diver Lois Toulson was named emerging athlete of the year at the recent British Swimming Awards in Manchester.

Toulson onlycelebrated her 16th birthday in September but the City of Leeds diver capped a magnificent year by returning from the Far East with a gold and silver medal before picking up the emerging athlete of the year accolade.

Toulson won the women’s 10m platform gold at the Fina Grand Prix in Singapore last month, having also finished first in both her preliminary and semi-final rounds.

Toulson’s medal adds to the golds she won in the 10m platform events at this year’s British Championships and European Games.

Her gold in Singapore is the first ever Grand Prix gold for the City of Leeds Diving Club and Lois followed up by claiming a silver medal in Malaysia.

Toulson’s victory in Singapore was made more remarkable as she was up against 2012 Olympic silver medallist Brittany Broben of Australia, as well as two Chinese divers who had won gold from the same height in the women’s synchronised 10m event.

Toulson was in second place and trailed Chinese diver Wang Han by 12 points going into her last dive.

But she snatched the gold with a back two-and-a-half somersaults with one-and-a-half twists, scoring 76.80 points to give her a total of 345.25 points.

Speaking after picking up her gold medal, Toulson said: “It is my favourite dive, so I like to put it at the end because it’s a safe dive. I was just trying to keep my calm and do my best.

“I was hoping to win a medal although I wasn’t expecting to win.”

Toulson’s superb victory broke the Chinese monopoly on the gold medals in the Singapore leg of the nine-stop Grand Prix series.