We need a China crisis to claim gold in London, warns diving star Waterfield
21:30 GMT, 27 March 2012
Pete Waterfield believes he and diving partner Tom Daley have the ability to win gold at the Olympics – but only if the Chinese favourites slip-up.
The British pair, who compete in the 10m platform, claimed silver in the latest round of the FINA World Series in Beijing last week, and Waterfield said the result added momentum to their preparations for London.
Silver service: Waterfield (right) fears the Chinese duo might be tough to beat
Home duo Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan finished first at the Water Cube in China, but Waterfield thinks the gap is closing.
'We are catching them,' he told Sportsmail. 'As long as we go into the Olympics fully fit and have worked as hard as we can, all we need to do is put pressure on them.
'We've seen in the past that putting by pressure on them, they do miss dives. Gold is definitely not out of reach. But if they don't miss their dives you're going to struggle.'
Waterfield and Daly beat the same Chinese pairing at last year's World Series in Sheffield after they had faltered.
Perfect symmetry: The duo took silver last week in Beijing
At the World Series event last week, Daly also took individual silver, while Waterfield added individual bronze.
The 31-year-old said rivalry between the two was inevitable but that it remained friendly.
Waterfield added: 'That's just the way our sport is, we understand that. And even though we we're competing against each other we still want the other to do well.
Improvement: Waterfield and Daley bettered their London showing in Beijing
'Obviously I don't want him to beat me and I'm sure he doesn't want me to beat him but in China, we were both on the rostrum. That's the ideal world. If we can do that in London that would be great.'
The result in Beijing was a marked improvement on the duo's showing at the test event at the Olympic Aquatics Centre in February, where a mistake on their difficult 4.5 somersault dive left them down in seventh spot.
'We've been working on that dive and it went a lot better in China,' Waterfield added.
'But we could still improve. In the individual we've both done it for, like, nines. 'If we put the two individual ones together then the four and a half will be right on. It's definitely coming along, I think we still scored seven and a halves, eights in the synchro so it's definitely better than where it was.'
Next up for Waterfield is a two week break before he heads to Moscow and Tijuana in Mexico for the third and fourth World Series events.
He was speaking at Durand Academy in London as the Crystal Palace England Diving Talent Centre tested the 100,000th school child in their search for diving's next generation of athletes.
The programme, headed by former diving world champion Chris Snode, has been running for four years, and is designed to unearth diving talent by examining children's physical attributes and inviting them for coaching sessions.
The Durand Academy children were put through their paces by jumping, stretching, and testing their balance, with several pupils selected for further coaching.
'Programmes like this are fantastic for unearthing the Olympic stars of tomorrow,' said Waterfield.
'I stumbled across diving when I was a kid but the testing programme makes sure that talent is spotted an early age and that the children can benefit from the world class coaching at Crystal Palace Diving Club.'
The school is in Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey's constituency and the former sports minister was also in attendance.
She said: 'The key to a true Olympic legacy rests with instilling a lifelong passion for sport in our children.'