Tonia Couch is confident her new 10m synchronised diving partnership with rising star Lois Toulson will come together at the perfect moment for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The 27-year-old Couch will be entering her third Olympics while 16-year-old Toulson will hope to make a big impression in her debut at the Games following her sensation gold medal triumph at the European Games last year.
The duo came together last year following chronic shin injury problems to Couch’s long term partner Sarah Barrow.
“We are really excited to be here in Rio as part of Team GB,” Couch explained following a practice session at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre where the Olympic diving competition will take place in a matter of days.
“Of course we are a relatively new partnership and at first, we didn’t have much time to train together so things were difficult but everything has really clicked in the last few months and we are training really well now.
“It is my third Olympic Games so I feel ready for everything but this is the first Olympics for Lois so I try and offer my experience where I can. I try to look after her where I can.
“I tell her just to relax and have fun because when we do that, we actually dive better and produce results."
Couch admits that securing a medal in Rio will be difficult for the new partnership as they face more experienced competitors.
A place on the podium would be a historic achievement and end Britain's 56-year wait for a women's Olympic diving medal following the bronze medal Elizabeth Ferris won at the Rome 1960 Games but the duo believe they have a shot.
“It wouldn’t be fair for me to put pressure on Lois and say we definitely need to win a medal because this is her first Olympics,” said Couch.
“She is just 16 and has a huge future in the sport by making it to the Games at such a young age so the goal is to go out, have fun, dive well and enjoy the experience.
“Of course we have a chance of a medal we believe if we perform to our best, we will be right up there but the best way to do that is to be positive and enjoy the experience.”
Meanwhile Toulson admits she is still finding it very surreal to be at an Olympic Games and says she is very much enjoying the experience.
“It is amazing to be here,” she said.
“All my friends can’t really believe it either and they keep sending me lovely messages from home which is great.
“Back at London 2012, I was only 12 and watching it on TV so to be here now is amazing.”
Toulson added that she has been balancing training with her GCSEs and is awaiting the results when she gets home.
“I’ll find out when I get back to England,” she smiled.
“We have an Olympic Games to compete in first!”