Daley happy to deal with pressure

01 July 2012 / 19:01

Tom Daley has backed himself to thrive on the pressure of being a Team GB poster boy at this summer's London Olympics.

The 18-year-old diving medal hope is one of the most high profile members of Great Britain's squad heading into their home Games and all eyes will be on the teenager when he competes in the 10 metre individual and synchro events in the capital.

Indeed, Daley's marketability has proved somewhat problematic at times, with British Diving performance director Alexei Evangulov criticising his commitments away from the pool earlier this year.

However, Daley told Press Association Sport: "There's always pressure and expectation on anyone going into any competition. But I've just got to focus on doing the best six dives that I possibly can. I love pressure. In a competition, when someone does a good dive in front of you, you want to try to beat it. So I enjoy that kind of pressure.

"In terms of media pressure that we've had so far, with everyone expecting that you just walk into the competition and win gold, that is kind of different. But all I can do is focus on my own performance. I can't worry about any of that."

Daley competed at the Beijing Olympics four years ago in a blaze of publicity and insists that experience will prove crucial this time around.

He said: "Everything that I learned in Beijing has taught me to go into an Olympic Games treating it like a normal competition and not let the whole Olympic rings thing and the fact there are so many people watching me overwhelm me.

"So for me, Beijing was an amazing experience to have in preparing me for these Olympics. My form leading into the Olympics has been pretty good so far, so touch wood it will carry on like that.

Daley and Evangulov reportedly patched up their differences quickly after their brief spat and the Russian is pleased with his charge's progress, saying: "Today I can confirm that the expectation that we have of Tom can come true, because he is ready not only technically and physically but also psychologically.

"He is ready. Also our pairing of Tom and Peter Waterfield is very strong. In the last World Series they were always in a medal position. I can even say that we scared a lot of our rivals. That's why we're happy where we are now."