Bouncing back from a self-confessed disappointing showing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to being crowned world champion, Tom Daley has added the FINA male diver of the year award to his 2017 trophy cabinet.
While the 23-year-old picked up Olympic bronze with Dan Goodfellow in the 10m synchro last summer, he failed to qualify for the final of the individual event.
But the London 2012 bronze medallist and 2009 world champion hit back in 2017, winning 3m mixed synchro world silver alongside Grace Reid in Budapest, before going on to top the podium in the 10m platform – winning a second individual world title, eight years after his first.
He added an overall World Cup of Diving bronze to his 2017 tally, and finished fourth in the 10m synchro – all of which contributed to his diver of the year award.
“It is such an honour to be given such a prestigious award,” he said. “I have been working very hard since the Rio Olympic Games and I am over the moon with the way that this season has unfolded.
“I put so much pressure on myself going into Rio and I forgot about the real reasons why I love diving, and that is because I love to compete and be on the board.
“This year I really focused on enjoying every second of my competitions and it really changed my attitude in competition, and it got the best out of my performances.”
Daley beat Olympic champion Chen Aisen into second place, with Chinese compatriot Yang Jian picking up the bronze.
Chen was celebrating ahead of the Brit’s final dive, not expecting Daley to put in the dive he needed to topple his total.
But Daley scored 590.95 in the end, enough to beat Chen by 5.70 points and claim the gold.
“When I watched the video back from the competition, I don't really know how I did it,” Daley added.
“I was in a complete sense of competitive flow and I don't think in that moment there was going to be anything that could have stopped me.”
Daley will now go into the 2018 season on a high, with potential appearances at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the European Championships in Glasgow the highlights in a busy schedule.