Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Tom Daley dubbed diving 'genius'
Tom Daley
Tom Daley on his way to winning the 10m world title in Rome in 2009

Devon teenager Tom Daley could dominate diving for years to come, according to the man in charge of Britain's divers.

Performance director Alexei Evangulov told BBC Sport his ambitions for the Plymouth star ran beyond London 2012.

The Russian believes Tom, 15, who won gold at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, is "a genius in diving".

He added: "Some talented divers in history have taken medals from two, three or four Olympic Games. And Tom is one of them, I think."

Tom, whose strongest event is the 10m platform dive, finished outside the medals on his Olympic debut in Beijing last year, placing seventh in the individual final.

But in July 2009 he stunned the sport by snatching gold with a superb final dive, to become Britain's first individual diving world champion.

Tom with his gold medal
Tom shows off his gold medal in Rome

The victory came in the first World Championships appearance for the youngster, who was born in 1994.

"He is a talent," said Evangulov, who led the Russian team to three silver and two bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics before taking the British post in December last year.

"In the history of diving there are not so many - you can count on your fingers how many there are in the world throughout history - and he is one of them."

It is not the first time Evangulov has used the term "genius" to describe the schoolboy world champion, but the Russian now believes helping Tom to an Olympic medal is no longer his main challenge.

Instead, Evangulov is focused on sustaining that success over several Olympiads.

"This is a big challenge for us - how to keep it," he said.

"To get a world champion is much easier than to keep it for many years.

"Our plan is much higher than a world champion, it is an Olympic champion, and not just one."

The next major events for Tom Daley, who has been shortlisted for the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year award, will be the 2010 Diving World Series, which begins in Dubai in March and reaches Sheffield in April.

Sea of work for busy Conrad
10 Nov 09 |  People & Places
Surf's down
21 Oct 09 |  People & Places



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific