Chris Mears completed one of the most heart-warming stories of the London Games as his journey from near-death to Olympic finalist was realised this evening.
The 19-year-old Southampton Diving Academy star was given just a five per cent chance of survival after he required life-saving surgery during a youth
diving competition in Australia in January 2009.
Three years on, and again against all the odds, Mears qualified for this evening's three-metre springboard final.
He did so by smashing his lifetime best to score 461.00 in this morning's semi-final and leave his watching parents, Katy and Paul, in tears.
While he failed to reproduce the performance tonight, finishing 11th with a score of 439.75, it hardly mattered for a man who was ranked 48th in the world this year before the Games.
Mears did fittingly end his competition on a high, grabbing one of only two scores over 100 points for a single dive in the final, when he won nines for his hardest front four-and-a-half