Tom Daley was left to rue a poorly-timed injury as he saw a chance to climb the World Championships podium slip through his fingers in Barcelona.
The 19-year-old diver endured difficult preparation for Saturday’s 10m platform final having torn his right tricep in training 48 hours earlier.
Yet despite the setback the London 2012 bronze medalist was in contention to finish on the podium as after his third dive Daley found himself temporarily in first place.
But as the competition reached its climax the 2009 world champion slipped down the leaderboard and ended the competition in sixth, 37.95 points off Germany’s Sascha Klein in third, with David Boudia second and China’s Qiu Bo first.
And while Daley admitted his tricep injury had played its part in him missing out on a medal it did little to soften the blow, especially since his London 2012 score of 556.95 would have been good enough for silver in Spain.
“It was a frustrating one,” said Daley, who also tore his tricep in April. “I didn’t think I was going to get through to the final so to get to the final and finish sixth I can take.
“It is just frustrating knowing it only took 517 points to get a silver. The scores are low and that was another opportunity to get up there again. My best this season was 542, 520, 530.
“I’ve qualified for the World Series which is nice but I found out after a scan I’ve tore my tricep again so I have been diving with a torn tricep not knowing whether it was going to make it worse or better.
“I also had a local anesthetic in there as well so I’ve been diving with a numb arm but I really wanted to compete. I was going to compete even if my arm was falling off.
“It is frustrating but I can go away from here and try and get my tricep rehabbed properly so it doesn’t go again because I have torn it three times.
“Normally it takes six weeks to even be able to go head first on platform and I had 24 hours. Hopefully I can get a bit of luck because this year has been one thing after another.”
© Sportsbeat 2013