Daley still haunted by re-dive
09:30 28 April 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Olympic bronze medalist finishes fifth in Diving World Series event
Tom Daley admits he still struggling to overcome the after-effects of his retaken dive at London 2012 after finishing fifth in the men’s 10m individual platform at the Diving World Series in the Olympic Park.
Despite achieving a lifelong dream by claiming Olympic 10m platform bronze at the London Aquatics Centre two years ago, Daley’s final was not without incident with flashlights distracting him on his opening dive.
He was allowed to re-dive but the routine – a back 2.5 somersault, 2.5 twist piked – has remained his Achilles heel ever since.
It was the same when he returned to the Olympic boards for his first competition at the London Aquatics Centre since the Games as he received 61.20 points for the dive – and his lowest of all six.
It left him on 525.45 points overall – China’s latest diving star Yang Jian taking gold with 616.50 – and Daley, who has even been receiving therapy to resolve the issue, revealed the problem may not go away immediately.
“When I had to do a re-dive at London 2012, it absolutely scared the life out of me and it plays on my mind every single time I go up there – especially in this pool,” said Daley, who now trains in Stratford having relocated from Plymouth.
“I watched the divers going before and was seeing that there’s still flash photography going on in the audience. It’s scary. I’m trying every single thing possible to try and get it back to normal, almost trauma therapy.
“Frustratingly it takes quite a long time to change a dive because we did try and start doing it after the nationals.
“But there just isn’t enough time to get to the stage where I feel comfortable doing it and then getting it ready for competition, so it’s probably not going to be until after the Commonwealth Games now.”
Daley can at least take small comfort from the fact that neither Yang, nor silver and bronze medalists Aisen Chen and Oleksandr Bondar of China and Ukraine respectively, will be present at the Commonwealth Games this summer.
Yang in particular impressed on his World Series debut in London, collecting a diving world record 123 points on his final dive, which naturally left Daley impressed.
“The standard of diving has improved massively. Yang Jian is an absolute beast. You just can’t fault him, it’s like a diving factory in China,” he added.
“For me, the Commonwealth Games is the biggest event of the year. It’s the one that I would like to go out and reclaim my title in. It’s kind of a home crowd so it would be amazing to do that.”
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