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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 August, 2004, 18:51 GMT 19:51 UK
Diving duo in Athens twist
By Phil Gordos

Waterfield (left) and Taylor
Waterfield (left) and Taylor just missed out on a medal in Sydney
A ballet lesson almost wrecked the Olympic hopes of British diving duo Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor.

Less than six weeks before the start of the Games, Waterfield twisted his ankle while improving his poise and balance.

"It was like having my right arm cut off," said Taylor, the other half of the 10m synchronised platform diving team tipped for a medal in Athens.

"It was a setback but it wasn't a total disaster. We were determined not to let the injury knock us off track."

Taylor and Waterfield, who spent 10 days on the sidelines before being allowed back in the pool, are no strangers to heartbreak.

Four years ago, they suffered Olympic agony in Sydney when they finished fourth, just 11 points off a bronze medal.

Unsurprisingly, they still smart from their near-miss.

Had we won a medal in Sydney, I may have been tempted to call it a day
Leon Taylor

"You never get over it," said Taylor. "To come so close and not win a medal hurt a lot."

Yet they remain as hungry as ever for success. More so, even.

It is that desire to succeed, coupled with the memories of 2000, that helped Taylor overcome a career-threatening shoulder injury in 2001.

"Had we won a medal in Sydney, I may have been tempted to call it a day," said Taylor. "But we have unfinished business."





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