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Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Olympic diver 'assaulted' at club

Daley and Aldridge
Daley and Aldridge were due to compete together in Sheffield

Olympian Blake Aldridge will not compete at this week's British Diving Championships after suffering facial injuries in an alleged assault.

"I've got 10 stitches on my forehead, a broken nose, a black ear, a fat lip and a very badly bruised shoulder so I've had better days," he said.

The incident happened outside a Southampton nightclub.

He had been due to resume his partnership with Tom Daley for the first time since the Beijing Games.

The Sheffield event starts on Thursday and acts as a trial for the summer's World Championships in Rome, meaning Aldridge's absence is likely to cost him international selection for the individual 10m platform.

Aldridge told the Daily Telegraph: "The timing couldn't have been worse. My main aim this year was to do the nationals and qualify to do the World Championships in the individual platform, but it seems like that chance has been taken away.

"Tom and I were also due to dive together again, which would have been nice to do. We've still got the World Series coming up and my main focus now will be to get fit for that.

"I'm really upset because I've been training really hard."

Hopefully he will be back up and running soon so we can train together as soon as possible

Tom Daley

Daley will now concentrate on defending his individual title in the first event of the season for GB's Olympians.

The duo's relationship seemed strained during the Games where they finished eighth and Aldridge questioned whether press attention had affected Daley's performance.

But the pair have since played down reports of a rift and were set to compete together in the men's 10m synchro.

Their first training session since Beijing had been due to take place this Friday in Plymouth.

"It's sad to see what's happened to Blake but hopefully he will be back up and running soon so we can train together as soon as possible. I just hope he gets better soon," said Daley.

Three men have been arrested and released on bail as part of a police investigation into the incident, while a friend of Aldridge is also recovering after fracturing his eye socket.

Aldridge's coach Lindsay Fraser confirmed that he will be away from the pool for at least a fortnight.

"When you have a damaged nose, the pressure of the water means you have to wait at least two weeks before you can go off a 10m platform, or you risk further injury," she said.

Ben Swain
It's time to start the four-year climb to 2012 and I've been doing a mix of hard training, fitness and some new, harder dives

Ben Swain

Daley and Aldridge's GB team-mate Ben Swain is looking forward to starting the "four-year climb to 2012".

"This is a qualifier for individual places for the World Championships so it's really important," Swain told BBC Sport.

"It's a chance to get back into action and to do some new dives ahead of the four World Series events later this year."

Swain, who is from Hertfordshire but trains in Sheffield, took some time off after Beijing, where he finished seventh in the 3m springboard synchro with partner Nick Robinson-Baker.

"I took a six-week holiday to Africa then came back for the Olympic parade, which was great," Swain said.

"Now it's time to start the four-year climb to 2012 and I've been doing a mix of hard training, fitness and some new, harder dives."

Swain and Robinson-Baker compete in the synchro event on Thursday in Sheffield, and Swain will take part in the individual 3m springboard on Friday.

Daley will now be in action in the men's 10m platform on Saturday, the last final of the three-day championships.

Swain singled out Sheffield club-mates James Milton and Megan Sylvester as ones to watch over the next few days.

606: DEBATE

Milton, who took silver at the recent Australian Youth Olympic festival, will take on fellow 14-year-old Daley in the men's platform as one of his three events at Ponds Forge.

Sylvester competes in two events, including the women's platform, where she won European junior silver in 2008.



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see also
Daley smooths over Aldridge rift
23 Jan 09 |  Olympics
Beginner's guide to diving
28 Feb 06 |  Diving


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