Eight-year wait over for world champion Daley with near-perfect title in Budapest

Eight-year wait over for world champion Daley with near-perfect title in Budapest

22 July 2017 / 17:02

Tom Daley's eight-year wait to reclaim his individual world diving title is over after winning the 10m platform, ending the World Aquatics Championships in extraordinary style in Budapest.

The 23-year-old, who last finished on top of the podium in 2009, triumphed with a score of 590.95 ahead of Olympic champion Aisen Chen (585.25), while fellow Briton Matty Lee finished 12th.

That put the painful memories of being eliminated in the semi-finals of the same event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games well and truly behind him, consistent across all of his dives on the final day of competition.

And despite having earlier secured silver with Grace Reid in the mixed 3m synchro, Daley was able to find an extra level - refusing to let anything get in his way of success.

"It's been such a tough year getting over that competition in Rio," said Daley.

"Today the Olympic champion was never going to let me have it easy but I wanted to fight until the very end and I really wanted to prove a point.

"I'm just so happy with the way it turned out. My score was a personal best and I think it would have got the gold last year at the Olympics.

"I saw Chen do his dive and all the Chinese divers cheer, so I thought 'Watch this one. You do that, I'm going to do it better'.

"I went into this weird competitive mode that I've never even been in before."

From the very first dive the double Olympic medallist impressed, leading the way with a score close to 100 to show he meant business in Hungary.

Daley kept building and maintained his lead with four successive dives scoring 90 or more points, though the best was still to come, finishing off with his second three-figure score to take top spot for his fifth World Championship medal.

Earlier he had paired up with a speechless Reid, and the British duo produced five impressive routines to finish on the podium, including confidently executing their inward 2 ½ somersaults piked required dive.

Their opening three efoorts propelled them to the top of the leaderboard on 71.10 points alongside China’s Han Wang and Zheng Li, who eventually prevailed in the fourth round.  

But the Brits continued to impress and scored 72.54 for their final dive to secure their silver medal, finishing on a total of 308.04 behind China on 323.70, with Canada claiming the bronze.

Reid and Daley’s success follows the gold that the duo won at the European Championships in London last year – and Reid hailed the work ethic which she believes characterises their partnership.

"It's difficult trying to find a springboard partner that can match a girl,” she told British Swimming.

“Me and Tom have been training really hard and we work really well together.

"It’s hard to say why the partnership works so well but I think we have similar kind of technique across certain dives and mentally, how we attack training, we gave it everything we had today.

“It's been a very surreal 24 hours for me, I've had about five hours sleep coming into today, I don't know which way is up but a fantastic way to end my first World Championships.”

Sportsbeat 2017

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