Diving: Chinese dominance coming to an end says Team GB's Tom Daley
Monday 13 August 2012
Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley has boldly suggested China will no longer be the dominant force of diving by the next Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Chinese failed to secure their target of a clean sweep of the diving gold medals in London over the past fortnight, although they did win six of the eight on offer.
That followed a perfect record at last year's world championships, while in Beijing only Australia's Matthew Mitcham denied them on the 10-metre platform - diving's blue ribband competition.
The Chinese again came unstuck on the highest board in London with hot favourite Qiu Bo suffering one of the shocks of the Games when he lost out to American David Boudia.
Daley was third - his first Olympic medal - in one of the most dramatic Olympic finals ever witnessed and, after Russia's Ilya Zakharov out-dived the Chinese to claim gold on the springboard, the 18-year-old Briton believes he has seen enough to suggest the world are catching China.
"Definitely the Chinese divers don't necessarily like pressure," he said.
"If you constantly apply that pressure they sometimes falter. That's what happened in Rome in 2009 when I won the world championships.
"The Chinese domination is slowly coming to an end. Qiu Bo this year has been unstoppable and that's why it was such a surprise for him not to win. That was a big shock.
"With myself and David challenging him that is great for the sport.
"Hopefully the Chinese domination will go away into the future.
"Now everyone is catching them up they don't have anywhere to run. They don't have many more somersaults that they can fit in."
Daley believes he can be at the front of the charge to unseat the Chinese as he immediately turned his attention to stepping further up the podium in Rio.
The teenager had led heading into the final round of Saturday night's final, but a lower degree of difficulty for his final leap saw him slip behind Boudia and Qiu - a young duo who are both likely to remain as his main rivals over the next four years.
"The peak age for a diver is between 22 and 24. So for me Rio 2016 is going to be the peak-performance Olympics," he said.
"I've already been doing my dives for two years and going into Rio six years and then the one after that, wherever it may be, I will have been doing them for 10 years.
"Hopefully after 10 years of doing the same dives I should be pretty consistent and accurate."
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