Daley claims gold on final day in Plymouth
10th February 2013
Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley kicked off his 2013 season with a comfortable defence of his national 10m Platform title at the British Gas Diving Championships.
Competing in his home pool at Plymouth Life Centre, Daley’s supremacy was never in doubt as he stormed clear of the field to win by more than 125 points on 501.00.
The 18-year old had confirmed before the event that a chest infection had disrupted his preparation for the competition.
To get the world title back would be the ultimate dream this season – that would be amazing.
And while he fell shy of the 556.95 he scored to win Olympic bronze in London last year, Daley insisted his performance at the first event of his season was an encouraging step towards this summer’s World Championships in Barcelona, where he will hope to reclaim the individual title he won in 2009.
“It wasn’t too bad a start to the season – both my performances were over 500 which is all I can ask for really,” said Daley.
“I’ve been trying to overcome a chest and throat infection to compete here and it could’ve been a little bit better. There are a few tweaks I can make and hopefully it will come together later in the season.
“To get the world title back would be the ultimate dream this season – that would be amazing. But it’s about working on consistency because everyone is learning lots of harder, new dives.
“The year after the Olympics is always a bit up in the air because no one knows who could come through and win the competition so it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.”
City of Leeds’ James Denny won silver on 374.90 while Cambridge Dive Team’s Daniel Goodfellow won bronze on 340.25.
Edinburgh Diving Club’s Grace Reid won her first senior individual national title with gold in a nail-biting women’s 3m Springboard competition.
Reid took over the lead with her third of five dives, scoring 71.4 for a beautiful reverse 2 ½ somersaults before holding her nerve on her final two dives to claim victory on 296.55.
My coach definitely helped me through it but I was shaking at the end.
Having won 1m and 3m Synchro gold earlier in the competition, Alicia Blagg was agonisingly short of completing a memorable hat-trick as she scored 296.00 for silver.
Meanwhile, Blagg’s City of Leeds teammate Rebecca Gallantree – who had won the past four British titles in this event – settled for bronze on 294.45, having won the preliminary with 316.70.
And Reid admitted reducing the difficulty of her dive list for the final had helped her confidence at the business end of the competition.
“The tension was building up through the rounds and there was a lot of pressure on that last round,” said Reid.
“I’ve been to a few internationals so I know how to cope and my coach definitely helped me through it but I was shaking at the end.
“This morning I was doing a couple of harder dives but we decided to change that for this final and it’s worked in my favour.
“Sometimes it doesn’t work like that in sport but it’s paid off for me today.”
Finally, Yona-Knight Wisdom and Matthew Roberts won gold in the men’s 3m Synchro competition.
The City of Leeds pair were competing as guests as Knight-Wisdom was entered under the Jamaican national flag rather than his domestic club.
But the duo scored an impressive tally of 387.42 to beat the only other entrants, City of Sheffield’s Freddie Woodward and Plymouth Diving’s Ashley Hendrick, who finished on 344.82.