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Daley begins Olympic mission

June 7, 2012 16:30 pm

Tom Daley will make an emotional return to Sheffield on Friday as he bids to confirm his place at the London Olympics.

The 18-year-old will be hoping to ensure his presence at this summer's Games over the next three days at the British Gas Diving Championships, which double as Olympic trials at Ponds Forge.

Daley has hit career-best form in recent months, culminating in him reclaiming the European 10-metre platform title with a personal-best 565.05 in Eindhoven last month, and he will be looking to carry that momentum forward ahead of the British diving team announcement on Monday.

He will do so, however, on an emotional stage in Sheffield where his father Robert saw him compete for the last time before his death following a long battle with brain cancer in May 2011.

Just a month earlier Daley had been pictured hugging his tearful father in the stands at Ponds Forge before he beat the world's best to win gold alongside platform synchro partner Peter Waterfield in the World Series.

Robert Daley had pledged to see his son compete at the Olympics and on Friday his son will return to the same pool for the first time, and alongside Waterfield again, on a mission to secure his London place.

With little competition, the duo are expected to win before going head to head in the individual platform - the event Daley was crowned world champion in as a 15-year-old. Daley will also be looking to reclaim that national title back from Waterfield, an Olympic silver medallist in 2004, who missed the European Championships with a neck injury.

Great Britain will take a full diving team to an Olympics for the first time this summer, meaning there will be a further six individual and three team places up for grabs.

Newly-crowned European platform synchro champions Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow will highlight the women's hopefuls, however in qualifying for the individual platform they will come up against stiff competition from Monique Gladding, Stacie Powell and Jenny Cowan.

On the three-metre springboard Rebecca Gallantree is aiming for her second Olympics, in both the individual and synchro, where she is partnered by Alicia Blagg. Jack Laugher, who has been tipped as a future world champion by American diving great Greg Louganis, will bid to reach his first Olympics in the men's three-metre springboard.

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