Tom Daley on right track for Rio Olympics, says Leon Taylor
Tom Daley is back diving in his comfort zone ahead of next summer's Rio Olympics, says Leon Taylor
Tom Daley is back diving in his comfort zone and charting exactly the right progress towards Rio next summer, according to Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor.
Last year was all change for Daley, who relocated from his native Plymouth to London, where he now works at the Olympic pool with new coach Jane Figueiredo.
He also made the decision to ditch what he referred to as his ‘demon dive’ and replace it with an equally difficult ‘twister’.
Daley failed to make the final of Diving’s World Series event in Beijing but got a silver medal a week later in Dubai.
He now believes he’s got arch-rival Qiu Bo in his sights – and May’s Diving World Series event at his home pool in London could witness a showdown to remember, according to Taylor.
“Tom Daley is very comfortable now. The dive he was having the most challenge with, him and his coach made a big call to change the dive completely,” he said.
“He’s made up a new dive, he’s the only diver to perform this particular dive from the 10m and it carries the same degree of difficulty as the dive he was struggling with.
“So now he has six really solid dives and his performance in Dubai was a reflection of that. So consistent performance, personal best but he still got beaten by Qiu Bo because he is a formidable force.
“But it’s not just Qiu Bo; it’s whoever the Chinese decide to field in that 10m platform. They are incredible. In fact you could field anyone from the top ten at the Chinese National Championships and they would be formidable because that is the strength in depth that nation has in that event.”
Since he burst onto the international stage at the Beijing Olympics, former world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Daley has become used to being the standard bearer and headline act of British diving.
But others are starting to share the burden of expectation. Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow are established as one of the world’s leading synchronised diving pairs and Jack Laugher becomes the first non-Chinese diver to win at this year’s World Series when he took 3m springboard gold in Dubai.
“It’s going to be great to see these guys in London and get that home advantage on our side,” added Taylor. “The Olympic pool is just a magical place; there are so many memories in there.
“It’s going to be the creme de la creme, it’s invite-only, it’s the top six in the world for the synchro, top eight in the world for individual. What more could you ask for?
“Short, fast, punchy diving sessions with the worlds best divers and such great strength across the different events for the GB diving team.”
See the world’s best divers take part in the FINA/NVC Diving World Series at the iconic London Aquatics Centre, 1-3 May. Tickets from £7 now on sale at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/diving