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Page last updated at 19:10 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

'Genius' Daley tipped to dominate


Diving chief has plans for 'genius' Daley

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 Devon star Daley, 15, ran beyond London 2012.

The Russian believes Daley, 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."

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

Tom Daley

Replay - Tom Daley wins 10m gold

The victory came in the first World Championships appearance for Daley, 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 Daley 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 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.

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see also
Young Sports Personality: The top 10
10 Nov 09 |  Sports Personality
Daley dreams of gold in London
22 Jul 09 |  Diving
Daley wins historic World title
21 Jul 09 |  Diving
Russian coach lands GB diving job
29 Dec 08 |  Olympics
Swimming on the BBC
02 Oct 07 |  Swimming

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