Daley books Olympics ticket to honour late father's memory
17:29 GMT, 10 June 2012
Tom Daley hoped he had done his late father proud after he booked his place at the London Olympics on Sunday.
Daley confirmed he will be one of the faces of this summer's showpiece with the most comfortable of wins in the 10 metre platform at the British Gas Diving Championships in Sheffield.
In a spin: Daley hopes to lay down a marker for the Chinese to match
While the 18-year-old was unable to
break his personal best of 565.05, which he set when reclaiming the
European title last month, he did more than enough to ensure he was
already decked out in a Team GB tracksuit before leaving Ponds Forge.
The Sheffield venue had set an
emotional stage for Daley as it was the pool his father Robert last saw
him compete before his death following a long battle with brain cancer
Diving blind: Daley has been impressed with his recent performances
Robert Daley had been a permanent
fixture alongside his son at all his competitions and had pledged to see
his son compete in London this summer.
'It's great to know that I have
qualified and he will be proud of what I have done,' Daley said. 'It
feels great to actually win here in front of my mum and my brothers,
obviously it is sad that my dad is not here.
'It's just such a great feeling to know you are going to the Olympic Games because it is what every athlete wants.'
Daley will head to London in career-best form despite stinging criticism at the World Cup at the beginning of the year.
British Diving performance director Alexei Evangulov claimed the former world champion was letting his media commitments undermine his Olympic dream before likening him to Russian tennis player Anna Kournikova.
Nest stop London: There's only a matter of weeks until the Olympics start
Daley has let his diving do the
talking since, responding emphatically by becoming overall World Series
champion and reclaiming the European title he first won as a
'I'm diving at the moment the best I have throughout my career,' he said.
'I'm loving my diving at the moment.
Knowing that I'm diving well going to an Olympic Games is a really nice
feeling. I just have to maintain it.
'I'm going into each competition knowing I can perform and score a 10. It's just about doing it on the day.'
Daley twice attracted scores of 10
tonight and only a slight mistake on his penultimate back three-and-half
somersaults prevented him from eclipsing his best for the third
'That's the dive I want to really work on before the Olympics,' he said.
'I can either get a really big score from it or like this evening it can cost me
'There's lots of hard work to do before the Olympics Games.'
Britain's Olympic diving team will be confirmed in an announcement tomorrow lunchtime, with only a few positions up in the air.
The women's 3m springboard is one of
those after tonight's winner Rebecca Gallantree failed to make the
qualifying mark in an unusually poor preliminary round.
The City of Leeds diver responded though with a British record and personal best 326.05 to wrap up her fourth domestic title.
Gallantree must now await Monday's announcement, with teenage duo Hannah Starling and Alicia Blagg also in contention.
'I was really pleased to get a good
run out this afternoon,' she said. 'I didn't make the score this morning
so it will be up to Alexei now to see who is in. Fingers crossed.'
Gallantree, who was cheered on by a
large support of family and friends, is already set to be named in the
3m springboard but admitted she was 'desperate' to also compete
individually for a second successive Olympics.
'It would mean the world to me –
competing at the Olympic pool in February at the World Cup was
absolutely fantastic,' she said. 'I'm desperate to go back for both
events. I'd love to.'