Fear factor: Tom Daley admits he is still haunted by London 2012 re-dive


The tricky manoeuvre hindered his chances of a medal at the Diving World Series this weekend.


By Pippa Field

TOM Daley revealed how he is still haunted by his retaken dive of London 2012 after the tricky manoeuvre hindered his chances of medaling at the Diving World Series back at the London Aquatics Centre.

Daley achieved a lifetime ambition when he picked up bronze in the 10m individual platform two years ago, despite having to overcome the pressure of a re-dive after being put off by camera flashlights on his very first outing.

He was back in the same venue on Sunday but, with the back 2.5 somersault 2.5 twist piked dive continuing to be his Achilles heel since that Olympic final, the 19-year-old was unable to completely execute it and received a score of 61.20.

It left him finishing fifth on a total of 525.45 points, little over 24 off the medals while China’s Jian Yang took gold on his first World Series appearance with a 616.50, and Daley admitted afterwards the extent of his problems.

“I haven’t been able to do it right since the London Olympic Games – since the flashing incident,” he said. “It’s a mental block, a phobia almost. It just terrifies me whenever I go up there.

“I’m trying every single thing possible to try and get it back to normal. I’m going under lots of different types of therapy, almost trauma therapy.

“The standard though was insane but it’s good to have new competition on the block and makes it very exciting for the summer. Jian is just a beast.”

The final session of the weekend also saw Britain’s Tonia Couch in action in the final of the women’s 10m platform.

The 24-year-old had qualified from her semi-final with a score of 341.70 but stepped it up by a further 12 points to place sixth with four-time Olympic champion Ruolin Chen taking another gold for China.

And, despite not adding to her bronze from the opening World Series leg in Beijing last month, Couch was not short of positives having won 10m synchro silver with Sarah Barrow on Friday.

“I’m actually more pleased with myself this weekend than when I came third in China, I scored higher this time around,” said Couch.

“It was so tough, everybody dived amazing and I’m really pleased with the way I dived, scoring 353 which I haven’t done for a while so I’m going to walk away with my head held high.

“The synchro for Sarah and I is very important but we love to do individual as well so it was about coming out and enjoying ourselves.”

Barrow was unable to join Couch in the final after a dropped fourth dive, which scored her only 30.80 and left her finishing sixth in morning qualification.

She had been leading her semi-final after three dives before eventually finishing on 314.60 – 27 points short – with Barrow knowing exactly what had cost her.

“I was gutted not to be in the final, I could have been there but they were pretty high scores,” she said. “My fourth dive is actually the easiest dive to do but the hardest one for me to do right.

“It’s just something I’ve got to practice, the rest of my dives I’m so happy with.”

And there were further smiles from Dan Goodfellow, who despite failing to qualify alongside Daley for the 10m platform final, insisted his diving was progressing at speed.

The 17-year-old only made his World Series debut last month but recorded a score of 439.00 to finish fourth in his semi-final to complete a solid weekend following his fifth place in the 10m synchro with Matthew Lee.

“I didn’t really have any expectations going into the competition, there were some excellent divers in there so it was just go out there and give it my best shot,” said Goodfellow.

“In my individual performances in the past, I’ve always been learning new dives and they’ve always been new to my list.

“It’s getting to that point now in my list where I’ve been doing the dive for a while and I’m starting to become more comfortable with them. I’m working on quality rather than difficulty.”

Make a splash in the spectacular London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The iconic venue has been designed for swimmers of all abilities, from absolute beginners to Olympic and Paralympic champions. Entry is the same price as local leisure centre swimming pools and sessions can be booked in advance online.

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