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Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Daley smooths over Aldridge rift

Blake Aldridge and Tom Daley
Aldridge and Daley will compete together at the British Championships

Teenage diving star Tom Daley insists he did not fall out with partner Blake Aldridge at the Olympic Games.

Aldridge criticised Daley publicly after they finished last in the 10m synchronised diving final in Beijing.

But they will compete together at the British Championships and Daley said: "I didn't even think we fell out.

"The synchro didn't go according to plan but Blake and I are still doing synchro and we're going to be competing in Sheffield from 5 to 7 February."

After the synchronised diving final in Beijing, Aldridge blamed Daley for worrying, saying: "That to me is really the sole reason why he didn't perform.

"Unfortunately it's a partnership, you both have to be on the top of your game. I wasn't on top of my game but Tom was nowhere near the top of his."

When I was out in Beijing I didn't really know what was happening back [home] in the media

Tom Daley

But Plymouth diver Daley, who turns 15 in May, told BBC 5 Live's London Calling programme he did not see the media storm that followed Aldridge's outburst.

He avoided distractions to come seventh in his individual event, the 10m platform, 12 days later and went on to win silver at the world junior championships in September.

"Beijing was the best month of my life - an awesome experience," Daley continued.

"When I was out in Beijing I didn't really know what was happening back [home] in the media."

Daley admitted to feeling awed during his first Olympic competition but believes he has learned from the experience.

"You really think that you're going to be prepared for an Olympic Games but as soon as I went out on that board it was completely different," he said.

"Although you're competing in the same pool against the same people as the qualification event it feels completely different.

"Now I know what to expect in London."

As well as training towards the World Championships in Rome in July, Daley is also studying for his GCSEs this year.

"It was quite good going back to school," he added.

"It was nice that my little group of friends haven't changed towards me, because they've known me for so long."

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see also
China claim gold in 10m synchro
11 Aug 08 |  Diving
Russian coach lands GB diving job
29 Dec 08 |  Olympics
Beginner's guide to diving
28 Feb 06 |  Diving

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