International diving elite coming to the Aquatics Centre for World Series

PICTURE BY ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX.COM - Diving - British Gas Diving Championships 2013 - Plymouth Life

PICTURE BY ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX.COM - Diving - British Gas Diving Championships 2013 - Plymouth Life Centre, Plymouth, England - 10/02/13 - Georgia Ward competes in the Womens 3m preliminaries. - Credit: ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX.COM

The biggest names in international diving will be out in force at the London Aquatics Centre next weekend for the British leg of the FINA NVC Diving World Series.

Tom Daley

Tom Daley - Credit: Archant

Building on the success of last year’s competition, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will welcome up to 70 athletes from 13 different countries, including World and Olympic Champions, across eight events ranging from women’s and men’s 3m-springboard to 10m-platform synchro.

Among those flying the flag for Great Britain will be Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley, double Commonwealth Gold medallist Jack Laugher and European Champion Sarah Barrow.

Joining them will be one of Daley’s Stratford training partners and Aquatics Centre regulars, 19-year-old Georgia Ward.

“I’m quite nervous about competing at my home pool, but it’s going to be a great experience with all the world’s top divers and coaches,” she told the Recorder.

Georgia Ward

Georgia Ward - Credit: Archant

“Training in the Olympic pool is amazing. It’s a nice environment with members of the public in there at the same time.

“People often come across to see Tom but it’s not off-putting at all – I love it.”

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The rising star, who formed part of the volunteer team at the event last year, started diving from the age of 12, having excelled in gymnastics from an early age.

“It was a great foundation for the diving because I was already doing flips and somersaults,” she added.

“I never would have thought I’d be a professional diver, but the thrill you get from jumping off the board is just great.”

And although Georgia, who lives with her family in Ealing, isn’t eyeing up a Splash-like TV career like Daley’s, she hopes to emulate his success with the Olympic dream of Rio her biggest goal.

“It’s amazing to train with Tom because he’s really just an ordinary guy – friendly and gentle – and someone I really look up to,” she said. “He really does work hard.”

Tickets are still available for the three-day series, with the action kicking off at noon on Friday, May 1.

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