Daley through to final
Saturday 23 August 2008
Teenage diving sensation Tom Daley has promised he has more to come when he appears in his first individual Olympic final later today.
The Plymouth 14-year-old produced a performance of maturity in the 10metre platform to finish eighth in the morning semi to comfortably progress to the last 12.
He pulled off an impressive fourth round dive - an armstand back triple somersault with tuck - to earn 86.4 points and drag himself back into the reckoning after a poor start.
Daley then followed that up with an even better backwards three-and-a-half somersault which brought 89.1, allowing him to eventually post 458.6, well inside the cut mark.
The youngster believes he has got better as the competition has progressed from the initial 30-man preliminary and claims there is still more to come.
"It is good that I didn't do an amazing performance in my first round because you don't want to waste it," he said .
"I still have lots of things to improve on for the final. I was hungry to get into the final and, again, my first dive wasn't so good but I slowly and surely made my way back."
Daley admits he has exceeded his own expectations in getting to the final.
"I was expecting to make the semi-finals and after that I was not so sure," he said.
"I knew I could make the final if I dived well but anything can happen in the Olympics."
The teenager has already appeared in one Olympic final - the 10m synchronised platform with Blake Aldridge - and finished seventh out of eighth.
That have him extra motivation for the individual event.
"It has been an amazing journey for me this past week. I have been training so hard because to come back after the synchro I really wanted to put in a good performance," he added.
"I'm going into the final now to enjoy myself and get the whole experience of what an Olympic final is going to be like because in London 2012 that is what I am aiming for.
"To go into the Olympic final in London I just need that experience from Beijing."
British team-mate Peter Waterfield agonisingly missed out on the final by one place, finishing 13th after he messed up his fifth dive
"It just didn't go my way," said the silver medallist from the synchronised 10m platform in Athens four years ago.
"I dived well yesterday and I knew it was going to be a bit more of a struggle this morning but I didn't think it was going to be like that."
On his flawed fifth dive the 27-year-old, who is carrying a shoulder injury, added: "Normally it is my best dive. I took off, had a great start and I guess I just panicked in the middle of it, kicked my feet too high and over-rotated.
"I knew I could still do it coming into the last dive but I needed a better dive than what I did. Such is life."
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