Gold for Tom Daley

Alex Mitchell
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With success from Jack Laugher getting gold medals in the one meter individual springboard and three meter synchronised event with “best buddy” Chris Mears and a silver medal in the individual three meter springboard event, the diving pool was glowing with Team England success.

Then we see Tom in action with his new partner James Denny in the 10 meter synchronised event in what was a close and tense final with all participants bunched close together on the scoreboard. Tom and James clinched silver, marginally missing out on the gold by 0.18 points to Australia’s Matthew Mitcham and Domonic Bedggood. Non the less a partnership with which to build on, if they can win silver having only had three training sessions together who knows what could happen.

Then came the main event, the 10 meter individual event, Daley took Gold in this event (as well as the syncrho) back in Delhi. This is also the event that Daley clinched a bronze medal back in London 2012.

Daley pictured with 14 year-old fellow Plymouth diver, Matthew Dixon

The preliminary round for this event showed how one dive can change everything.  The first dive saw Tom come in 5th place, his second dive, The “Demon dive,” a back 2 ½   somersault with 2 ½ twist, a dive which Tom has sought help from a sports psychologist with. This saw Daley drop to the bottom of the table getting just 37.8, Then we saw the fight back in him, Daley Came second in round three pushing him from 11th to 8th, in round 4 he came first getting over 100 points this then forced his way to 4th, Round 5 saw another scoring of over 100 points placing him top of the board and the final round saw him top that and ultimately come top of the board beating Matthew Mitcham into second place 488.85 to 450.8. Mitcham took gold in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and looked to be the main rival to Tom.

What a difference a few hours can make. Daley took the top spot from the first dive with 94.50. His second dive, the dreaded demon dive saw an improvement on his preliminary performance getting 64.8, this was Daley’s lowest score in the final but it wasn’t low enough for someone to challenge him for the gold. The 4th dive saw Daley break the 100 mark for the third time today with 102.6, increasing his margin to a 320.45 over Canada’s Vincent Reindeau’s 291.2

Going in to the 6th round Daley was guaranteed a medal  but with a reverse 3 ½ somersault scoring 93.5 Tom once again became Commonwealth champion, with 516.55 points, a whopping lead of 82.85 over Malaysia’s Ooi Tze Liang and 87.3 points ahead of Reindeau.

Matthew Mitcham came fourth and ends these games with gold in the 10 meter syncrho and silver in the 3 meter syncrho and 1 meter individual.

This gold should silence Daley’s critics who have questioned his commitment to diving whilst he was making ITV’s Splash and Tom Daley Goes Global. Furthermore it demonstrates that Daley’s change in coach, location and training is doing no harm.

Though Daley said he was looking forward to a lie in with a couple of days off he will be back competing in the European Championships in Berlin, 20 – 23 August 2014.  So from all of us here at Vada, congratulations Tom and continuing wishes of good luck.

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About Alex Mitchell

Political observer and current affairs addict. I observe - I analyse - I debate