GB hoping to make waves in Eindhoven

15 May 2012 / 09:15

Tom Daley will bid to kick-off a British medal rush when the European Diving Championships begin in Eindhoven on Tuesday night.

The 17-year-old will headline one of the strongest British teams in recent memory as they make their final preparations for this summer's London Olympics.

Britain has enjoyed unprecedented success in the diving pool so far this season, highlighted by four medals at last month's final round of the World Series in Tijuana, Mexico.

Those medals came in the company of the all-conquering Chinese and with the field narrowed in Holland over the next six days, Britain will look to become a dominant force.

Former platform world champion Daley is the headline maker in the team, with the teenager in arguably the best form of his career. He proved himself the best of the rest behind China's untouchable champion Qiu Bo in the World Series, winning silver in the opening three legs, before taking gold in Tijuana when Bo was absent.

He returns to Eindhoven four years after winning the European platform title as a 13-year-old and will be favoured to reclaim the crown injury prevented him from defending in Budapest two years ago.

Daley's hopes of a memorable double were, however, dashed last week when his synchro partner Peter Waterfield pulled out with a neck injury, but Daley could yet stand on the dais twice this week as he will compete in the non-Olympic mixed team event alongside Becky Gallantree to kick-off the competition on Tuesday night.

Britain's medal hopes will not, however, rest with their poster boy Daley to underline the strength of the current 11-member team: Women's platform synchro team Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow will look to continue their breakthrough season on Thursday night.

After finishing fourth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and then again at last year's World Championships, the pair finally got on the podium when they took bronze at February's World Cup and another bronze followed in Tijuana last month.

In the men's competitions springboard synchro pair Nick Robinson-Baker and Chris Mears catapulted themselves into Olympic calculations when they snatched silver behind China in Tijuana. It was their first global medal together and another on Friday night would help cement their credentials.