Diving: Injury puts paid to Daley's hopes of defending title

British diver forced to pull out of synchronised final and the 10m individual after suffering triceps tear
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The Independent Online

Tom Daley had to pull out of yesterday's 10m synchronised diving final here at the European Championships with a triceps tear only hours after he and his partner, Max Brick, had finished fourth in the morning preliminaries with a score of 386.58 points. The 16-year-old has also had to pull out of today's individual 10m final, where he had been set to defend his European title.

Daley had been expected to compete in the Youth Olympics in Singapore next weekend and, as the 10m platform world champion, had been picked as the figurehead of the 40-strong British team at these inaugural Games.

Daley said: "The team and I felt it was best not to risk it and completely tear the muscle, which would put me out for three months and would see me miss the Commonwealth Games [in October]."

Great Britain failed to add to their medal tally yesterday as the men's 4 x 200m freestyle relay squad was narrowly edged out of the top three in the final event of the penultimate day of the Championships.

The quartet of Robbie Renwick, Ross Davenport, David Carry and Robert Bale were in third place at the 750-metre mark but were overhauled by France on the final length as they finished in 7min 14.60sec. The Russian four won the gold.

There was, however, a notable performance from the 17-year-old Irish girl Grainne Murphy, who claimed silver in the 1500m freestyle after finishing fourth in the 800m. She had been cruelly edged out of the medals by just 0.05sec in the shorter event by the double world champion, Federica Pellegrini, on the final touch.

In the 1500m Murphy was in second place from start to finish and touched in 16min 02.29sec, 3.16sec behind Lotte Friis, who completed the 800m and 1500m double.

Antony James could only manage eighth place in the 100m butterfly. After turning in sixth place he could not maintain his form and touched in 52.67sec in a race won by Evgeny Korotyshkin. "I'd liked to have been faster but it's been good experience," he said.

Kate Haywood was second fastest through to the 50m breaststroke final although her team-mate Achieng Ajulu-Bushell failed to progress. Haywood, who is returning from hip surgery, managed a personal best of 31.24sec to win her heat and go some way to making up for her disqualification in the 100m.

For Ajulu-Bushell, the Budapest championships represent her first international competition as a British swimmer, having previously competed for Kenya. The 16-year-old was 28th over two lengths before coming 10th overall in the 50m in 31.91sec, and she was far from satisfied. "This week has been pretty tough," she said. "I haven't really hit any of my times."

Simon Burnett was sixth fastest into the 50m freestyle final after recording his first sub-22.2sec swim for five years with 22.16. And Ellen Gandy was second fastest into the 200m butterfly final in 2min 08.01sec, but Jemma Lowe missed out by 0.01sec.

Fran Halsall has already claimed one gold and two silvers here and she will be looking to add two more medals today in the 50m freestyle and the 4 x 100m medley relay. Yesterday she qualified for the former event as fourth fastest with a time of 24.70sec.