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Tom Daley leaves Southend seclusion to return to training at heart of Games

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 08, 2012

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Plymouth's Tom Daley was back training at the London Aquatics Centre yesterday ahead of the 10 metres individual platform competition this weekend.

The 18-year-old Team GB diver had spent the previous week training in Southend. British Diving felt Daley and synchronised partner Peter Waterfield would benefit from being out of the Olympic village after their final.

It meant they were away from all the distractions at the Olympics and allowed them more time in the pool to prepare for Friday night's heats.

Plymouth and Great Britain coach Andy Banks admitted they were happy with how their Southend break went.

"It did what it said on the tin," said Banks. "It got us out of the Olympic environment and allowed us to get dives under our belts.

"We did what we wanted to do. With swimming and synchronised swimming taking place in the Aquatics Centre it is difficult to get the number of dives in that you want, but in Southend we had the pool to ourselves."

Banks insisted that Daley and Waterfield have both got over the disappointment of just missing out on a medal in the 10m synchro final. The pair finished fourth after one bad dive cost them a medal.

Failing to make the podium in the synchro has increased the pressure on Daley in his individual event. But Banks said: "The pressure is high, but it is just like any other competition."

Banks also declared that Plymouth-born divers Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow should be proud of their performance at the Olympics.

The duo, who are the current European champions, finished fifth in a highly competitive women's 10m synchro final.

The pair set an international personal best and again finished as Europe's top team. "Realistically, they possibly could have got fourth, but it was a tough competition," said Banks. "Yet they are right up there at the top.

"We always knew it was going to be tight, but they should be proud of what they have done. They acquitted themselves and British Diving well."

Team GB's Chris Mears completed one of the most heart-warming stories of the Games as his journey from near-death to Olympic finalist was realised last night in the three-metre springboard contest.

The 19-year-old from Reading was given just a five per cent chance of survival after he required life-saving surgery during a youth diving competition in Australia in January 2009. Three years on, and again against all the odds, he qualified for last night' final.

He did so by smashing his lifetime best to score 461.00 in Monday's semi-final to leave his watching parents, Katy and Paul, in tears.

While he failed to reproduce the performance last night, finishing 11th with a score of 439.75, it hardly mattered for a man who was ranked 48th in the world before the Games.

Russia's Ilya Zakharov ended China's bid for a clean sweep of golds. China's Kai Qin took silver and Chong He bronze.

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  • Jonas131415  |  August 09 2012, 1:59AM

    Really looking forward to the Men's 10M at the Olympics. Just to add to the Chris Mears story - he came 9th not 11th in the final, and performed a record dive of 100.70 on his last dive, the first GB diver to ever score over 100 in 3M competition.