English athletes head to Rio Diving World Cup

A team of 15 British divers – 14 of whom train at English clubs – are set to take on the world at the FINA Rio Diving World Cup 2016 (19 – 24 February).

The event doubles up as the Olympic test event and is the first of three Aquece Rio test events to be held at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.

The British team will be looking to qualify their remaining quota places for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games later this year.

Four World Championship medallists, Tom Daley, Rebecca Gallantree, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears, feature on the squad alongside Freddie Woodward, Georgia Ward, Katherine Torrance and Lois Toulson, who are all making their debut at a senior world level competition.

Rebecca Gallantree admits World Cup is vital for Olympic preparation

Team event world champion Gallantree admits this competition is one of the vital steps for the divers as they continue preparations for Rio 2016.

“This is the final chance for Great Britain to qualify the Olympic quota which makes this one of our most important competitions of the year,” Gallantree told British Diving. “Every country will be at this event aiming to secure their place in Rio for the Olympics.

“In the 3m Synchro, three countries, China, Canada and Australia qualified their place by winning medals at the World Championships in Kazan and the fourth place is Brazil’s so there are only four places left and we have to make sure that we are in those places to ensure that we will have the spot during the Games.

“There will be a big field at the competition and we are prepared for that with the experience that Alicia [Blagg] and I have.

“We are going to be taking a couple of less intense days of training before building our dives back up and making sure they are sharp ready to be at our best in Rio next month.”

Freddie Woodward excited to compete on the world stage

Woodward, who won double gold at the British National Diving Cup in Southend, is also looking forward to competing on the world stage in Rio.

“I’ve just had the best domestic competition of my career and to have earned a place on the team for the World Cup feels amazing,” Woodward said.

“I felt in the form of my life in Southend and a lot stronger than I have felt previously at competitions.

“It was important to me to demonstrate that I have improved and all my training and hard work had paid off. I am so proud that it I did that and now I am able to represent Great Britain at this level.

“The World Cup will be the biggest competition of my career and so is an incredibly exciting prospect as I’m look forward to competing against some of the world’s greatest divers.

“To be on the same boards with divers I’ve always looked up to will give me a lot of confidence to try and qualify that spot for my country.”

English Divers competing at the 2016 Diving World Cup