Daley and Lee win GB’s second World Championship medal and secure Tokyo 2020 berth

Daley and Lee win GB’s second World Championship medal and secure Tokyo 2020 berth

15 July 2019 / 15:45
Tom Daley and Matty Lee secured their first major honour as a pair as they claimed bronze in the Men's 10m Synchro at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea.

The duo, who only began working together last autumn, came third with a score of 425.91 behind China and Russia as Daley and Lee guaranteed GB’s qualification to the event at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics with the podium finish.

GB had been on course for the silver medal position until a poor fifth-round dive scuppered their chances, and almost put their third place in jeopardy, and Daley was relieved to have secured a quota spot for Tokyo.

“That was the main thing at this point in the Olympic cycle,” Daley said.

“Bronze is as good as gold in my eyes – just to be able to get to the Olympic Games in the first place.

“That is often the hardest thing because in the synchro event, there's only eight teams that get to qualify. To be able to do it this far out in advance, I've never been in this position with any synchro partner in the past.”

After a strong opening four dives, including a score of 97.20 from their back three-and-a-half somersaults in the tuck position which put them into second place, Daley and Lee’s fifth would prove pivotal.

Lacking on synchro and execution, their reverse three-and-a-half somersaults in the tuck position scored only 57.12 and saw them drop down to third, with Ukrainian pair Oleksii Sereda and Oleh Serbin now only 1.14 points behind the Brits going into the final dive.

Daley and Lee, though, executed the forward four-and-a-half somersaults in tuck position brilliantly to finish 13.29 points ahead of the fourth placed Ukrainians.

Daley added: "We knew we could have got a silver medal. To have a bit of a bad day, you could say, and come away with a bronze medal – you’ve got to see some light in that."

The bronze medal adds to Britain’s silver earlier in the competition through Jack Laugher and Dan Goodfellow in the Men’s 3m Synchro.

Elsewhere, Grace Reid and Katherine Torrance finished just a few points off the podium in fifth in the Women’s 3m Synchro.

Reid said: “We’re really pleased. Obviously, to be so close to that medal is frustrating but we left everything that we had out there today, so it’s bittersweet.

“The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that our step up from training is quite big, which is a real asset – some of the other teams it has the opposite effect and they maybe buckle under pressure.

“Five points is all it is – it’s reassuring that we’re that close but we’ve got stuff to go away and work on.”

Meanwhile, Kate Shortman secured her spot in a second final of the week as she qualified in 11th in the preliminary round of the Women’s Solo Free.

Sportsbeat 2019