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   Monday, 6 January, 2003, 16:08 GMT
Divers get bombed out

British divers are up in arms over plans to allow the 'bombing' technique from a TV beer advert in competition.

The sport's world governing body, Fina, is permitting feet-first jumps to be performed in all Masters events - to encourage more people to take part.

But top divers are ready to boycott this year's European championship, claiming the move is demeaning their sport.

It's a bit of a joke

Rob Costa,
Euro Masters champion

The popular John Smith's commercial features comedian Peter Kay as one of the entrants in an international diving final.

After seeing his rivals perform breathtaking manoeuvres, Kay opts for the "running bomb" - a feet-first splash-down into the water which earns him maximum marks.

His winning performance earns him the accolade "Top bombing!" from the commentator.

The ad, which promotes a "no-nonsense" approach to sport, was voted one of the top commercials of last year - but not everyone is seeing the funny side.

Reigning European Masters champion Rob Costa told BBC Sport Online: "It's a bit of a joke.

"I'm all for encouraging new people to take up the sport, but I want to compete against a decent standard. Perhaps they should have an A and B class."

Costa appeared in the advert as one of the 'proper' divers and said that although he had good fun making it, he did not want fiction and reality to become blurred.

Jurgen Klinsmann
Klinsmann scores another perfect 10

A spokesman for John Smith's said they did not want to be dragged into the row, but added that the commercial was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

Under the new rules, competitors are allowed to jump in for two of their seven dives, with each one measured by its difficulty.

As far as the other five go, amateurs should seek advice from a professional diver before attempting them.

We hear Jurgen Klinsmann has a bit of spare time on his hands at the moment.

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