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Daley surrenders World Championships title in incredible platform final

Tom Daley surrendered his men’s 10m platform title at the FINA World Championships, finishing seventh in a high quality final in Gwangju.

His Great Britain teammate, Noah Williams, finished 10th in his maiden final at this level.

It was a nerveless start from Daley, who opened with a superb reverse three-and-a-half somersaults to put him in the lead at the end of the first round, with 93.50 points.

The defending champion next had his lowest tariff dive, producing a clean inward three-and-a-half somersaults for 72.00, slightly let down by his entry.

Daley’s third dive left him with a bit of work to do at the halfway point of the competition.

A forward three-and-a-half somersaults with one twist yielded 77.40 points as he dropped almost seven points outside the podium positions in sixth.

Daley’s title defence was all but over by that point and his focus switched to remaining in the hunt for bronze.

His fourth dive – an armstand back three somersaults – wasn’t quite enough to do that, scoring 84.00 points to leave him more than 20 points behind Russia’s Aleksandr Bondar.

Daley’s fifth dive proved this wasn’t quite his day.

A score of 46.25 points saw him slip down the leaderboard, before signing off with a stunning back three-and-a-half somersaults for 97.20 points.

That left Daley with a total of 470.35 points.

He leaves Gwangju with a bronze medal, which he won alongside Matty Lee in the 10m platform synchro. 

Daley’s performances in the preliminary round and semi-final of the 10m platform will give him hope of challenging for a first ever Olympic title in Tokyo next year.

But the Chinese duo of Jian Yang and Hao Yang made a serious statement, finishing with 598.65 points and 585.75 respectively to win gold and silver.

Williams’ bright debut

Williams had already ensured his World Championships debut would be one to remember and he looked set to add further gloss to his campaign.

The 19-year-old began strongly with an armstand back two somersaults with two-and-a-half twists, picking up 86.40 points to sit in third place after the opening round.

He had a slight wobble in the second round, but responded solidly with an inward three-and-a-half somersaults to sit eighth at the halfway stage.

The back end of the competition proved a challenge for Williams, as he finished just inside the top 10 with 440.95 points.

Regardless of the final result, the youngster will take plenty of confidence from his performances in Gwangju, as he builds towards the 2020 Olympic Games.