Jack Laugher got going on Wednesday morning with a gripe about the amount of blue in his sightline and wrapped up his evening with an eyeful of gold.
It amounted to a perfect start to a busy week for the Rio 2016 diving champion, who on Thursday will look to follow this win in the 1m springboard with another in the 3m individual.
If that goes well, he will then have a shot at a hat-trick in the 3m synchro on Friday alongside Chris Mears, in the event in which they cracked the Olympics.
Jack Laugher has won gold for England in the diving 1m springboard
Laugher won gold with a score of 438.00 to successfully defend the crown he won in 2014
The 23-year-old was a picture of concentration during his gold-medal display on Wednesday
Given the difficulties already experienced by England’s favourites out here, nothing can be taken for granted. But the early signs are promising for an athlete who on Wednesday became only the second member of the team after Adam Peaty to follow an Olympic gold with an individual title at these Games.
That he did so was impressive against a backdrop of numerous injuries – he claims to have only managed a fortnight of training in preparation – and his grumbles about the colour scheme of the diving venue, which he flagged up after his morning preliminary round and again after he cruised to the gold.
‘It is always very hard when all you can see outside is blue,’ he said. ‘Sky, sand and sea is blue so it is difficult. Everything is blue.’
But his performance hinted at no great consequences, considering he led after the first dive and cruised through the next five without a rival in sight. His winning score of 438 points was 25.55 clear of second-placed James Connor of Australia. James Heatly took bronze, becoming Scotland’s first Commonwealth diving medallist since his late grandfather Sir Peter Heatly won the last of his three golds in 1958.
‘My grandfather was my inspiration and he’s the reason I’m doing this today,’ Heatly said. ‘I’m a bit emotional right now because it means so much to me.’
Laugher followed his win with another night session on his Playstation ahead of a 6.30am alarm call for his tilt at the 3m discipline, for which he will be favourite after taking Olympic silver in 2016.
He said: ‘The 3m is my main board and I am a bit nervous for it. It will be my first 3m in international competition this year because of injuries unfortunately but I have high hopes.’
Laugher won gold ahead of Australia’s James Connor (left) and Scotland’s James Heatly
Laugher’s gold followed a silver for Alicia Blagg and new partner Katherine Torrance in the women’s 3m synchronised, which came on the back of only a fortnight of training in each other’s company.
Blagg said: ‘We were like, “We’ll just wing it, throw the dice and see what happens” and it went pretty well.’
In the athletics, Robbie Grabarz became the latest touted Englishman to underwhelm here. The London 2012 bronze medallist finished 12th after failing to clear 2.21m – 16cm short of his personal best. He said: ‘I don’t feel like I’m taking any pleasure in competing at the moment which is a shame.’
England’s Dina Asher-Smith, the fastest female sprinter in British history, is a strong hope for the 200m final on Thursday after qualifying in 22.44 seconds. She will face off with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and world bronze medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo.
In the men’s 200m, England’s Zharnel Hughes qualified third-fastest for Thursday’s final.
Dina Asher-Smith cruised to the final of the women’s 200m at the Commonwealth Games
Asher-Smith denies she is under extra pressure to succeed after Team England’s failures
Meanwhile, England will face Jamaica on Saturday in the semi-final of the netball after pulling off an impressive 54-45 victory over New Zealand – a win that meant they would not need to face favourites Australia until the final.
Jazmin Sawyers (6.47m), Lorraine Ugen (6.42m) and Shara Proctor (6.89m) all qualified for Thursday’s long jump final.
Dan Bramble finished fifth in the long jump, won by South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga, after leaping 7.94m and England team-mate Rosie Clarke came fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase.
Scotland’s Maria Lyle also took silver in the T35 100m and Botswana’s Amantle Montsho won the women’s 400m.
Zharnel Hughes won his semi-final in a time of 20.37s to reach the men’s 200m