Diving: Daley seeks to build new partnership with Brick
Wednesday 08 April 2009
The British diving champion Tom Daley has found a new partner and they will make their competitive debut at the World Series in Sheffield later this month. Daley's father Rob told BBC Sport that Max Brick, 17, will replace Blake Aldridge, after his partnership with Daley ended following the Olympics. "There are only a few candidates in the UK anywhere near Tom's level," he said. "It was just a case of waiting until he was ready – he's a good match for Tom, as close as anybody is going to be."
The duo have only practised together once so far but have known one another for several years, having met at a World Class Start programme in September 2003.
"All the coaches in the diving world speak to each other and know who comes up through the ranks and he was the most obvious choice," said Mr Daley.
"Physique doesn't make a huge difference [to a partnership], but put them side by side and they look identical; he's got the same colour hair and same build – it could be a perfect match."
Brick is just three years older than 14-year-old Daley, a big change from previous partner Aldridge, who was 12 years his senior. Based in Southampton, while Daley usually trains in Plymouth, Brick won synchro gold with Jack Chewlow at the recent national championships.
British Diving's high performance manager Kim White confirmed the duo will be diving together in Sheffield but did not commit to long-term plans.
"The possibility of Daley and Brick diving together is something we've been working towards for a while," he said in a statement. "We'll be having a look at what they have to offer as a team in Sheffield. Max had a great outing in Turin last week at the European Championships where he finished sixth in his first major international event with a very good score."
Although they were not expected to be among the medals in Beijing last year, Aldridge and Daley were expected to put on a decent performance. However they finished last in the pairs and their relationship looked to be strained following an angry exchange after Aldridge phoned his mother between rounds.
Aldridge then missed the British Championships in February after being injured in an incident at a nightclub, prompting Daley Snr to say he would prefer his son to have a different partner. "I have no input into who he dives with – but I have input into who he doesn't dive with," he said.
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