Diving: Daley making waves again as he secures another silver
Saturday 24 March 2012
You wait almost a year for a medal and... Tom Daley yesterday took a second silver in a week in the World Series, finishing second with Peter Waterfield to the Chinese divers in the platform synchro in Beijing.
This morning Daley will look to add another podium finish in the individual event, in which he won his first silver in Dubai earlier in the week. It marks a timely return to form by both men and suggests Daley is capable of winning two medals at the Olympics.
If the events go anywhere to form, gold in London is likely to be beyond the British pair, and anyone else outside China's all-conquering team – China won all 10 golds at last year's world championships. Qiu Bo, the world champion and world No 1, is far ahead of the field and, in the synchro, China dominate too, but Daley's resurgence is encouraging. It also makes a telling point to Alexei Evangulov, Britain's performance director.
The Russian criticised Daley last month during the World Cup in London's Olympic pool – in which a rusty British pair finished seventh – saying he gave too much time to media and sponsors' appearances to the detriment of his training. Evangulov suggested Daley was in danger of becoming a diving equivalent of Anna Kournikova, and also said the Chinese "trained three times harder".
Daley rejected Evangulov's assertions and the pair seemingly patched up their differences with a meeting after the London event. Daley and Waterfield, who won an individual bronze in London, put their erratic synchro performance in the capital down to their time together having been limited by injury. Their improvement in Dubai and now Beijing supports that.
In Dubai, Daley, who it should not be forgotten is still only 17, earned an individual silver – his first medal for 11 months – behind Bo, and finished fourth with Waterfield in the synchro. Yesterday they scored 437.40, their best since winning World Series gold in Sheffield last year. "Chuffed," was Daley's reaction in the wake of successfully executing their most difficult dive, a front four and a half somersaults tucked. The event was won by the Chinese pair Yanquan Zhang and Yuan Cao.
After today's individual event, the World Series moves to Moscow and then finishes in Mexico next month.
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