Daley eases into final

20 May 2012 / 15:50

Tom Daley moved a step closer to reclaiming the European 10metre platform title after easily qualifying in first place for the final in Eindhoven.

Daley, who turns 18 on Monday, stamped his class with a near-faultless display to score 531.85, including a score of 10 on his final reverse three-and-a-half somersaults dive.

His nearest rival, Russia's Victor Minibaev, was 51.95 points further back, and with world bronze medallist Sascha Klein absent with an elbow injury, Daley looks certain to reclaim the crown he first won as a 13-year-old.

Despite that Daley, who revealed he has nursed a slight triceps injury in training this week, expects a sterner test in the evening.

"Not everyone was on form - it will be very tough final," he said. "To be honest I shocked myself a bit with the way I dived.

"This week's training hasn't been going that well, it's been steady. I've had a niggly triceps injury which I've had to be careful with.

"But it's one of those things, when I get into competition I love competing. That drives me and sharpens me up.

"I only really missed one dive. There were a few dives that could have been sharper but hopefully I'm saving that for tonight."

A second European title would cap a stellar season that has re-established Daley as one of the favourites at this summer's Olympic Games.

Asked if he felt in career-best form, he said: "Yeah. Compared to any other year my scores have been a lot higher than they have been. It's all going in the right direction. I've been doing a lot of training recently and getting the volume of my dives up to get the consistency I need."