Diving: Daley wins in Mexico to answer coach's jibe

 

For somebody derided by his country's own performance director as in danger of becoming the Anna Kournikova of diving, Tom Daley has produced a telling riposte as the 17-year-old rounded off the World Series by winning gold in the Mexican leg to add to successive silvers from the first three events.

Daley scored a 10 on his final dive to finish an impressive 20 points clear of the field in Tijuana on Saturday night. Qui Bo, the Chinese world champion and overwhelming favourite for gold in London, did not take part, but Daley furthered his standing as Bo's closest challenger with his performance in the 10m platform. It completed a fine series for Daley, who also took bronze in the 10m synchro with partner Pete Waterfield.

Since a rusty performance at a World Cup event in London two months ago, Daley has produced a string of improving dives both on his own and in partnership with Waterfield. He is now undoubtedly a strong contender to win two medals at this summer's Olympics.

It was during the World Cup at the Aquatics Centre that Alexei Evangulov, the Russian disciplinarian imported to run British diving, made two eye-opening verbal assaults on Daley, accusing him of not training hard enough and being distracted by commercial activities – hence the Kournikova jibe. The pair are supposed to have settled their differences at a meeting in London the day after the World Cup.

Daley has always strongly denied that anything interferes with his training and preparation. He and Waterfield put their display in London down simply to being at an early stage in their preparations for the Games – injury had got in the way – and their performances over the last few weeks have supported that.

Daley is diving as well as he did when he became world champion at the age of 15 in 2009. This weekend's dives were his best of the series as he exceeded his highest World Series event score by 0.05, thanks to that perfect final effort. Bo, who like most of the leading Chinese divers skipped the Tijuana meet, is regarded as unbeatable unless he makes a mistake, but Daley's brisk improvement suggests he will be there to take advantage should that happen.

There is also the prospect of British diving medals in London beyond Daley and Waterfield. Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow had struggled in the World Series since making the podium in the London World Cup, but they matched that this weekend with a bronze in the women's platform team. Chris Mears and Nick Robinson-Baker also took a surprise silver in the 3m synchro.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operations & Logistics Manager

£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...

Recruitment Genius: GeoDatabase Specialist - Hazard Modelling

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...

Recruitment Genius: Compressed Air Pipework Installation Engineer

£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Pallet Network

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea