Jack Laugher and Chris Mears clinched the first-ever Olympic gold medal in diving for Britain Wednesday, ending China's dreams of a golden sweep in the sport at the Rio Games.

Laugher, 21, and Mears, 23, took the lead in the men's 3-metre springboard synchronized event during the third of six rounds and never looked back, finishing with 454.32 points.

"When the scores came up and it obviously said that we had won, I was still like: 'No, someone is playing a horrible prank on me, like how is this possible?'" Mears said. "It's fantastic. We're really proud to do it for GB."

"I think the team, it's been really strong out here in Rio. To add to that is a dream come true, especially in diving," added Laugher, who broke down in tears after the Rio win, which came four years after a disastrous performance at the London Olympics.

"I'm just overwhelmed with how I did today - to come from that place to here was why I was so emotional pool-side, because that was my lowest moment and my highest moment in two separate Olympics," Laugher said.

The United States' Sam Dorman and Mike Hixon took silver with 450.21 points, while China's Qin Kai and Cao Yuan came in a distant third for bronze with 443.70 points.

China had won the paired competition in the two prior Olympics and Qin could have become the first diver to earn three gold medals in the event had he won.

China had also hoped to clinch all eight diving golds for the first time in Rio.

Qin and Cao started out strong during the first two rounds, but then fell back and recovered only briefly in the fifth round before ending with a score of just 83.22 points for their last dive.

Cao said there had been "a lot of pressure" in that final performance and the pair had been "a little bit nervous."

"Our goal is the gold medal, for sure, but this is the Olympic Games. We have to accept this because we're athletes," Qin added. "We have ups and downs, and I still learn a lot from it. Maybe we'll do better next time."

The Rio divers continued to use an unusually green pool, which has been blamed on water treatment problems, but also had to contend with drizzling rain and cold wind gusts in the stadium, which is not fully sheltered from the elements.

The athletes played down the effect of the bad weather, however.

"Being from the UK, we're very much used to rain, wind and all that kind of stuff," Laugher quipped.

"We don't want to justify ourselves and blame it on the weather," said Russia's Ilia Zakharov, who surprisingly landed in second-to-last place despite having won silver four years ago in London.

Officials have said that the pool does not pose any risk to the health and safety of the athletes and should return to its natural blue colour later Wednesday. But the neighbouring water polo pool had also taken on a green tinge by the afternoon.

"It's more like diving into a sea," German trainer Lutz Buschkow said. "It continues to be water, whether green or blue."

Related stories

Josip Glasnovic wins trap shooting gold for Croatia

Shooter Hoang gets first ever Olympic gold for Vietnam

Rio men's water polo silver goes to Croatia

Sara Kolak wins Olympic gold in Women's javelin throw

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.