His father may be the most famous maitre d’ in the country, but today Andrea Spendolini Sirieix can command the best table in any restaurant in Birmingham.
The 17-year-old daughter of Fred Sirieix, who rose to fame on Channel 4’s ‘First Dates’, won gold in the women’s final on the 10-meter platform.
Sirieix may not yet be old enough to drink, so one of his father’s fine wines may be out of the question to toast his victory, a first international title. But she said, “I have a hot chocolate waiting for me!”
The English teenager cried at the conclusion, having led since the second round, and saluted the boisterous home crowd – including her famous father – a far cry from her experience at last year’s Olympics, where no spectators were allowed due to Covid.
“I’m very, very happy,” he added. “It’s amazing that it’s at home, home games, the first time I really had a crowd because I didn’t have one in Tokyo and the other internationals I’ve played I haven’t really had a big crowd.
“It’s been amazing, I’ve had so much fun. I wasn’t really afraid of being so at peace, so I’m really, really happy with what happened.”
His teammate Lois Toulson won the silver, but Spendolini-Sirieix topped the leaderboard with 20.20 points and insists he didn’t feel the pressure for having led in the second round.
“I was at peace the whole time, but on the last dive I had pretty shaky calves, I think that definitely helped with the push I needed,” she said. “Overall, I had so much fun, I’ve never had so much fun in a competition.”
It was the second gold medal of the day for England, with Jack Laugher winning his third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold in the three-foot trampoline jump – a title he dedicated to his late grandmother.
“Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away a few months ago,” he said. “She was quite local, but I couldn’t attend the funeral due to the World Championships, which was very sad, but I’m a high-level athlete and the risk of Covid was very high.
“I hope I made you proud today. She was my biggest supporter.”
The England team’s flag bearer won the title with 447.05 points at Sandwell Aqua. Two-time Australian world champion Shixin Li secured silver, 10 points adrift, while Laugher’s England teammate Jordan Houlden completed the podium after finishing with 429.30 points.
Laugher is clearly in a different place now, having recovered from the dark days of crying himself to sleep following the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, where he let slip his lead position to finish with bronze.
Laugher said, “Mental health and mental well-being have been extremely important to me. I’ve really struggled with that over the years, but I feel like I’ve gotten over it a lot and obviously doing performances like that today and at The World Championship makes everything better and keeps me moving forward.”