Local diver Bedggood nails gold
DOMONIC Bedggood has translated his great potential into performance, winning a breakthrough gold in the 10m platform in front of a rapturous home crowd.
Gold Coaster Bedggood led the competition through the opening four rounds but made a slight error in his penultimate dive, kicking out slightly too early in the back three-and-a-half somersault, allowing Englishman Matthew Dixon to take the lead heading into the final round.
His final round twisting back somersault was not perfect but gave him enough of a lead to put pressure on Dixon - who dived last in the final - and needed a score of 68.85 to win gold.
The pair faced an agonising wait for the judges, with the crowd erupting as scores came in to confirm the hometown hero had won with a total of 451.15, just 1.60 points ahead of his rival.
The result is a massive confidence booster for Bedggood, who has won medals at the world championships and Commonwealth Games in synchronised competition but had not won a major individual title before last night.
With Englishman Tom Daley missing from the individual event with a hip injury, Bedggood was among the favourites heading into the event.
But when he qualified fourth for the final almost 36 points behind Dixon, gold seemed as though it might be out of his reach.
The 23-year-old had an outstanding opening dive, an armstand twisting back double somersault that scored 90 and set the tone for his night.
He led by nine points after the opening round and built a buffer of more than 20 points over Dixon heading into the fifth round before the Englishman took the lead heading into the final round.
Channel 7 commentator Matthew Mitcham, who won gold with Bedggood in the synchronised event in Glasgow in the Gold Coaster's debut was thrilled at the result.
"The home crowd loves that. He could not be any more local," Mitcham said of the lad who grew up a stone's throw away from the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
Like teammate Melissa Wu, Bedggood was forced to apply for discretionary selection after injuring his legs in a dive gone wrong while training for the trials at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
But he has been one of Australia's best performers at the Games, winning a medal in each of his three events.
The Gold Coaster has been one of the faces of the Games, doing an enormous amount of promotional work for organisers in the lead-up to the event.