Daley battles into semi-final
10th August 2012
European and Commonwealth champion Tom Daley battled his way through the 10m Platform preliminaries on his first individual appearance at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
After a topsy-turvy preliminary, 18-year old Daley started slowly, missed his penultimate dive, then recovered to score 448.45 and progressed in 15th.
I've done my job today, not by the most comfortable of margins, but I'm through and tomorrow is another day.
British teammate Waterfield - competing at his fourth Olympic Games - was also below his best, missing his second and fifth dives as he finished 23rd overall with 412.45 and missed the top 18 cut.
With 32 competitors in the prelim, it was difficult for the divers to maintain their concentration levels and stay warm with more than 30 minutes between each dive.
And Daley – who scored a personal best 565.05 to win his second European title in May – admitted the long wait in between dives had been tough to handle.
"That was far too close for my liking," said Daley, who finished fourth with Waterfield in the 10m Synchro earlier in the Games.
"That was a tough competition. We don't normally compete at this time of night and the 32 competitors meant it was tough having to wait for half an hour in between your dives.
"Towards the end of my list, my legs were started to fail on me and I was started to feel tired. It's one of those things where you wanted it to be over and wanted to be comfortably through at that point.
"I've done my job today, not by the most comfortable of margins, but I'm through and tomorrow is another day."
After a solid start, Daley scored 89.25 for his third effort – an armstand back 3 somersaults in pike – then 83.25 for his fourth dive – a forward 4 ½ somersaults with tuck – to move to seventh overall.
His form deserted him in the fifth round as he dropped his back 3 ½ somersaults in pike for 39.60, slipping to 16th overall with only the top 18 progressing.
But the 2009 world champion held his nerve to score 84.15 for his final dive – a reverse 3 ½ somersaults with tuck – and secure his spot for tomorrow morning’s semi, where the field will get reduced further to 12 for tomorrow night’s final.
Waterfield had a mountain to climb after his first two dives, scoring 66.00 for his opening armstand back 3 somersaults with tuck then 40.00 for his inward 3 ½ somersaults with tuck.
The 2004 Olympic 10m Synchro silver medallist bounced back to 22nd after scoring 94.35 for his forward 4 ½ somersaults with tuck.
I haven't dived like that for a long while. It was a bit of a bad day for me today.
He then moved another two places up the leaderboard after his fourth dive but another dropped effort on his fifth – a reverse 3 ½ somersaults with tuck – put paid to his chances of qualification.
Waterfield finished with a more positive 70.20 for his back 2 ½ somersaults, 2 ½ twists with pike but it wasn't to be his night.
"I haven't dived like that for a long while," said Waterfield. "There's a lot of pressure with the home crowd. Normally, it makes me dive better. But today I didn't feel nervous until I literally stood on the board."
"I felt really good, and then I stood on the board and these nerves came, and you don't get time to get used to them then. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a bad day for me."