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Jack Laugher has a poignant reason for wanting to shine in Birmingham

Jack Laugher has extra incentive to succeed at the Commonwealth Games (Isaac Parkin/PA)
Jack Laugher has extra incentive to succeed at the Commonwealth Games (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Diver Jack Laugher wants to ‘bring it home’ at the upcoming Commonwealth Games for his late grandmother.

Laugher will be the flagbearer for Team England at the opening ceremony in Birmingham on Thursday alongside weightlifter Emily Campbell, who is looking to build on her bronze medal from Tokyo 2020.

The 27-year-old’s grandmother, Bernice, lived her whole life in nearby Dudley, giving Laugher extra incentive to impress.

He explained: “I want to bring it home for my grandma, who unfortunately passed away just a couple of months ago. She lived her whole life in Dudley, so she’s very local.

“It’s been a very emotional time for everybody.

Laugher is one of England’s most successful athletes at the Commonwealth Games with five gold medals to his name – winning three on the Gold Coast in 2018 to add to his two from Glasgow four years previously.

He told a press conference that victory in Birmingham would add to the list of achievements that his grandmother followed so closely.

He added: “Because of Covid I missed her funeral, it was very difficult knowing that and dealing with that but I think she followed my career so closely and she was so charming in everything that I’ve done.

“Going back to her home recently, seeing all the photographs of all my achievements of when I was 15 in Delhi…the pictures were up there.

“When I got my MBE from Prince Charles, she was super proud of me and I’m sure she would want me to do well, so I would like to do this for my grandma.”