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Page last updated at 18:26 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

Daley dominates to retain title

Diver Tom Daley
It was Daley's first competition since the start of the year

Teenage star Tom Daley set a new personal best score on his way to retaining his men's 10m platform title at the British Diving Championships.

Daley, 14, beat the World Championship qualification criteria mark of 1,200 with a combined total of 1,509.70.

His final total of 517.55 would have been enough for fourth place at last year's Olympic final in Beijing.

"It was my personal best score so I am really happy with that and it was good to get back into competition," he said.

The Plymouth teenager finished off his first set of six dives with a reverse three-and-a-half somersaults that earned the first 10 of the meet and helped him to 486.70 points - 115.5 clear of his nearest rival.

It was the same dive, and same judge, that rewarded him with another 10 in the semi-finals, this time on the way to a score of 505.45 - the first time he had broken the mark in senior competition.

Now that I have gone through [the 500-point barrier] in a proper competition it definitely boosts my confidence

Tom Daley

He improved on that in the final, starting with a back two-and-a-half somersaults one-and-a-half twists piked dive that earned three awards of 10.

He scored more high marks on his inward three-and-a-half somersaults tucked to increase his lead further.

"With the 500 points it is a top barrier that I have always wanted to reach and now that I have gone through it in a proper competition it definitely boosts my confidence," he said.

But despite his good scores, Daley refused to think about the possibility of claiming a medal in Rome in July

"I'm not going there expecting anything again, it's a long way and my aim is 2012 and I need to learn some new dives," he said.

"But, if all goes well, you never know what can happen."

Rebecca Gallantree claimed her second title of the meet with victory in the women's 3m springboard and in the process booked a place at the World Championships.

The City of Leeds diver won the 1m springboard on Thursday but failed to make the qualification criteria in that event.


The 24-year-old started badly in the final, missing her first forward two-and-a-half somersaults one-twist dive to be second last at that stage.

But after that she showed consistency to post a score of 308.40 points.

"I'm really annoyed with that first dive because if I had made it then I would have got a personal best," she said. "But I can't complain with my score in the final."


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Learn the art of diving
29 Jul 08 |  Diving

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