Thursday 21 September 2017

Diver Tom Daley bids for Olympic glory today

Matt Somerford

TOM Daley bids for Olympic platform synchro glory alongside Pete Waterfield today - eight years after being inspired by his partner's silver medal feat in Athens.

Daley, 18, watched on television in a caravan on a family holiday in Newquay eight years ago as Waterfield and Leon Taylor claimed Britain's only Olympic diving medal in the past 52 years.



It inspired the then 10-year-old to take diving seriously.



And now Daley wants in on the London 2012 medals action, targeting his first Olympic podium finish at the Aquatics Centre in a wide-open field in the high board team event which begins at 3pm today.



The 18-year-old described the chance to dive alongside father-of-two Waterfield as "surreal" after he recollected tuning into the 2004 action in Athens.



"I was 10 years old when Pete won his Olympic silver medal. I was staying in the family caravan down in Newquay," he said.



"I was sat in the caravan trying to tune the TV in so I could watch it. I was watching the whole thing and thinking 'Wow, he's an Olympic silver medallist'.



"I was fortunate to compete in Beijing but not even then did I think I'd be able to compete as a synchro team with Pete after watching him in Athens 2004. It's quite surreal actually."



An Olympic medal is the only major honour to have eluded Daley during his decorated young career so far.



The Plymouth diver was crowned world platform champion as a 15-year-old in Rome three years ago while in May he reclaimed the European title he first won aged just 13.



Daley's European success this year came in the midst of career-best form, in which he twice improved his personal best, while he was also crowned individual and synchro platform champion at the World Series.



China, who dominate world diving, will send out arguably their most vulnerable combination at these Olympics in Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan.



That could give Daley and Waterfield a chance, although the likes of Germany and Russia should also be contenders.



With an expectant home crowd, Daley welcomes the pressure as he looks to fulfil his Olympic dream.



"Pressure isn't a bad thing. I quite like pressure going into a competition," he said.



"Divers either handle pressure or they don't. For me I've had pressure going into competitions for a long time now.



"It's something that I am used to. I've had the Olympic experience in Beijing and had the pressure environment from there.



"For me pressure should bring out the best in you because you have that extra adrenaline rush."

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