Diving: Tom Daley celebrates birthday with gold in Eindhoven

 

Tom Daley will celebrate his 18th birthday today as the European 10m platform champion after a dominant performance in Eindhoven last night.

Daley had blitzed his rivals in the morning's preliminary round and there was no let-up in the final as he comfortably reclaimed the crown he first won as a 13-year-old in this same city.

Daley twice scored 10s, and could even have attracted more for his most difficult front four-and-a-half somersaults dive, on the way to a personal best 565.05.

Daley has delivered his London hopes a sizeable boost in the past three months, following his public criticism by performance director, Alexei Evangulov, capped by last night's display.

After Evangulov's comments he has won silver at the opening three legs of the World Series before finishing with gold, in the absence of the world champion Qiu Bo, in Mexico last month.

That performance was his previous best and Daley believes his continued improvement could be a reason for consternation among his Chinese rivals. "I think they'll notice," he said. "I don't know if they'll be watching the European Championships too closely but I guess the word will spread about my score. It might say to them I'm coming up and doing it consistently to challenge them."

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