Tom Daley retains national title

  • Last Updated: February 10 2013, 18:31 GMT

Tom Daley enjoyed a comfortable start to a season that will see him attempt to regain his 10 metre platform world title at the British Gas Diving Championships.

Tom Daley dives to victory.
Tom Daley dives to victory.

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The 18-year-old easily retained his national title in front of a sell-out crowd at his home pool in Plymouth.

Tickets for the event sold out in just 10 minutes and while the star attraction had suffered from a cold in the lead-up, Daley was never tested in his first competition of the year as he posted 501.00.

While that was short of his very best, half of his six-dive list did attract scores above 90, in an early-season hit-out to shed the rust of an off-season that has seen him co-present ITV programme Splash!.

"It wasn't too bad a start to the season - both my performances were over 500 which is all I can ask for really," Daley said.

"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."

Daley will bid to regain his world title in Barcelona this summer.

He became Great Britain's youngest ever world champion when he won the 10 metre platform as a 15-year-old in Rome four years ago.

Fierce rival Qiu Bo snatched back the title two years ago and after a titanic Olympic final last year - when both were edged out by American David Boudia - a rematch is already on Daley's mind.

"To get the world title back would be the ultimate dream this season - that would be amazing," he said.

"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.''

With Pete Waterfield absent from the competition, the veteran's diving future remains in doubt after a decision to cut his funding, Daley claimed victory by a mammoth 126.10 points.

City of Leeds' James Denny won silver with 16-year-old Daniel Goodfellow - earmarked to be Daley's synchro partner in the future - taking bronze.

Edinburgh Diving Club's Grace Reid won her first senior title and denied Alicia Blagg a hat-trick of gold medals this weekend in the women's three-metre springboard.

Reid, 16, edged out her London Olympian rival by just 3.65 points with Becky Gallantree - who had won the past four title - settling for bronze.

"I've been to a few internationals so I know how to cope and my coach definitely helped me through it,'' Reid said. "But I was shaking at the end.''

Yona-Knight Wisdom and Matthew Roberts won gold in the men's three-metre synchro competition.


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