Stage set for London leg of World Series

21st April 2014

The 2014 FINA/NVC Diving World Series is set to launch its third leg in the London Aquatic Centre on Friday 25 April and will be the first event hosted in the Aquatic Centre since the Olympic Games.

This prestigious international competition is an annual event which sees the world’s diving elite go head-to-head six times in three months.

With only the top eight from the FINA World Rankings qualified for the individual events, and the top six pairs in the synchronised events, the calibre of the field will undoubtedly have every spectator at the edge of their seats.

Featuring more than 80 of the world’s best divers – World champions and Olympic medallists – from more than 15 countries, the event has solidified its position as nothing short of iconic on the international scene.

The venue, situated on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, will be back under the spotlight for the first time since London hosted the memorable 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Great Britain’s Tom Daley – who won bronze at those Olympics two years ago - will be taking part in the 10m Platform on Sunday 26 April and admits you can’t underestimate the effect of competing in Britain.

“Home crowd support is really important,” says the 19-year-old diver. “It gives you that extra edge. It makes you feel good and makes you want to dive well.

“Having the World Series in London is going to be the most iconic thing since the Olympic Games to happen in this pool. I can’t wait for the home crowd.”

This will be the first time the young athlete has competed at an international meet on home soil since making London Aquatics Centre his home pool at the start of the season.

The significance of the venue will no doubt bring back memories of his emotional podium finish two years ago.

The night of high drama at the Olympics saw Daley – poster boy for Great Britain at the Games – give everything he had, lead with a final dive which earned him 90.75 points. Daley was ultimately awarded a bronze medal for his efforts.

The British Gas GBR Diving Team in London will also include Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow who, like Daley, compete in the 10m Platform events.

Chris Mears and Jack Laugher make up the 3m Synchro pairing, with Laugher also competing in the 3m Individual.

World Series medallists Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg will hope to repeat last year’s podium performance from the home World Series in Edinburgh while Daniel Goodfellow and new arrival Matthew Lee will team up in the 10m Synchro.

The 2014 World Series is being held in some of the most well-known cities in the world.

The first stop was Beijing’s iconic Water Cube, a venue that is certainly no stranger to home success, and where the Chinese divers dominated again this year.

Both gold and silver medals in the men’s and women’s 3m springboard were awarded to the Chinese athletes. The top two spots in the 10m Platform were also taken by home divers, with Daley coming in bronze position.

There was more success for the British divers in China as Couch came in third in women’s 10m Platform, as did Lee and Goodfellow in the men’s 10m Synchro.

The only British medal collected at the second leg of this year’s World Series in Dubai was from the 10m Synchro team of Lee and Goodfellow, who earned a score of 380.98 for bronze.

Daley finished in fourth place in the 10m Platform, just missing out on the medals.

"Preparations leading into Beijing and Dubai were not that great with injuries,” the young diver says. “But now I’m feeling good and hopefully it’ll go well.

“I can’t wait for the excitement of all the other divers that haven’t been here since the Olympic Games.”

The diving programme is the same as at the Olympic Games with individual 3m Springboard and 10m Platform events as well as synchronised finals from the 3m Springboard and 10m Platform.

The London leg of the 2014 FINA/NVC Diving World Series takes place from 25 – 27 April. After London, the divers are set to continue on to compete in Moscow, Windsor and Monterrey.