Tom Daley back with Splash! of his own in Plymouth


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The Independent Online

Tom Daley overcame a chest infection to start his season with a comfortable defence of his national 10m Platform title at the British Gas Diving Championships yesterday.

The 18-year-old easily retained the title in front of a sell-out crowd at his home pool in Plymouth.

Tickets for the event sold out in just 10 minutes and Daley was never tested in his first competition of the year as he posted 501.00, to win by a mammoth 126.10 points.

While the total score was short of his very best, half of his six-dive list did attract scores above 90, in an early-season outing in which he tried to shed the rust of an off-season that has seen him co-present ITV programme Splash!

"It wasn't too bad a start to the season - both my performances were over 500 which is all I can ask for really," Daley said.

"I've been trying to overcome a chest and throat infection to compete here and it could have been a little better. There are a few tweaks I can make and hopefully it will come together later in the season."

Daley will bid to regain his world title in Barcelona this summer.

He became Great Britain's youngest world champion when he won the 10 metre platform as a 15-year-old in Rome four years ago.

Fierce rival Qiu Bo snatched back the title two years ago and after a titanic Olympic final last year - when both were edged out by American David Boudia - a rematch is already on Daley's mind.

"To get the world title back would be the ultimate dream this season - that would be amazing," he said.

"But it's about working on consistency because everyone is learning lots of harder, new dives.

"The year after the Olympics is always a bit up in the air because no-one knows who could come through and win so it'll be interesting to see how it turns out."

The future of veteran Pete Waterfield, absent from today's competition, remains in doubt after a decision to cut his funding,

City of Leeds' James Denny won silver with 16-year-old Daniel Goodfellow, Daley's possible future synchro partner, taking bronze.