Wednesday 13 November 2019

China won't be a threat at the Rio Olympics as they don't like diving outside, says Tom Daley

Tom Daley. Photo: PA
Tom Daley. Photo: PA

Rod Gilmour

TOM Daley, the Olympic bronze medallist, says that China won’t be a threat at the next Olympics in Rio – because the diving event will be held outdoors.

China won six of the eight Olympic titles on offer last week at the Aquatics Centre but failed to secure their target of a clean sweep, as they did at last year's world championships in Shanghai.

Meanwhile, favourite Qiu Bo suffered one of the shocks of the Games when he lost out to inspired American David Boudia, with Daley securing a superb bronze.

And Daley, who was told in the lead-up to the Games to lose a stone in weight by his coach for being “sluggish”, believes that further damage can be inflicted on China’s domination on the board in four years’ time.

“It's outdoors, which the Chinese don't like,” said Daley, referring to the open air Maria Lenk Aquatic Park, which will host the diving and water polo events in 2016.

“I love diving outdoors. All the competitions I've done well in have been outdoors so I've always had good memories.

“I think normally divers peak at around 22 to 24. I have just turned 22 in Rio, so that's the Olympics I'm most excited about, performance-wise.

“I think in total (I might make) maybe four or five, depending on how diving moves on, but we'll get to Rio first.”

Daley won his first Olympic medal in one of the most ever witnessed finals at the Games and the Plymouth diver believes he can be at the front of the charge to unseat the Chinese powerhouse in Rio.

He added: “We've got all the hardest dives I can learn now, so it's going to be four more years of solid practising them. The exciting thing is they're only going to get more consistent and more accurate. The whole next cycle has started already.”

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