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Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 10:08 UK

Father eyes new partner for Daley

Blake Aldridge (left) and Tom Daley
Aldridge (left) and Daley dived together at the Beijing Olympics

The father of British teenage diving champion Tom Daley has told BBC Devon he expects his son to have a new partner within six months.

Olympian Daley, 14, retained his British individual 10m platform diving crown at the weekend.

But he could not dive in the synchro pairs event as Aldridge was recovering from injuries he sustained after an alleged nightclub assault.

"In six months time Tom will have a different partner," Rob Daley said.

Daley Sr says he does not want his son to be associated with the negative publicity surrounding the incident.

"I'm trying to keep Tom's feet on the ground, and doing a pretty good job of it I think," he said.

It had been reported in a national newspaper that Daley senior had 'axed' Southampton's Aldridge after the nightclub incident.

Technically it's going to be the coach's call, but I could put a stop to it now if I wanted to. I do not want him to dive with Blake any more

Rob Daley

The decision on who Daley Jr dives with is up to the athlete and his coaches, according to the sport's governing body, British Swimming.

"It's an athletes and a coach's decision on who they wish to dive with and they will base those decisions on how best to get optimal performance, " a spokesman for British Swimming told BBC Devon.

"Tom wished Blake all the best in his recovery last week and the feeling is that the pair will be diving again later in the year. Certainly speaking to Andy Banks [Tom's coach] and Tom on Friday, they want to get back together."

Daley Sr says the pair will dive together again in the short term, but he wants a new partner for his son in the longer term:

"They've got a competition coming up in March or April which I don't think there's going to be anybody apart from Blake capable of doing it.

"Yes he will dive with him in the next few competitions, but certainly in six months time Tom will have a different partner.

"Technically it's going to be the coach's call, but I could put a stop to it now if I wanted to," Rob Daley added.

Daley and Aldridge's relationship looked to be strained after they finished last in the 10m platform pairs at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as Aldridge telephoned friends from the poolside during the competition.

The pair finished in last place in the pairs while Daley went on to finish seventh in the 10m individual event.

The highlight of this year's schedule is the World Championships in Rome in July. British qualifiers for the event take place in May by invitation only.



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