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Thomas Robert Daley
Thomas Robert Daley – (born 21 May 1994, Plymouth, England, United Kingdom is an English diver, who specialises in the 10 metre platform event and is currently the FINA World Champion.
He started diving at the age of seven, and is a member of Plymouth Diving Club.
He has made an impact in national and international competition at an early age.
He represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where he was Britain’s youngest competitor, the youngest competitor of any nationality outside the sport of swimming, and the youngest to participate in a final.
In the first post-Rome 2009 World Championships edition of the FINA World Diving Rankings for the ten-metre platform, he reached a new career best ranking of number one.
He resides at home in Plymouth with father Robert, mother Debbie and two brothers, William and Ben.
‘FAMILY FUN AT CHRISTMAS’
In June 2004, the month after his tenth birthday, he won the platform competition in the National Junior (under 18) group, making him the youngest winner of that event.
In 2005 he competed as a guest competitor in the Australian Elite Junior Nationals, and placed first in platform and second in 3 m springboard in the 14-15 age group event.
He also competed in the 14-15 category at the 2005 Aachen Junior International, placing second in platform and third in 3 m springboard.
He met the qualification standard for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, but was not selected for the England team because of his age.
In 2006 he was the under-18 British champion in platform and 3m springboard, and he placed second in the 10 m platform at the 2007 senior British Championships, which were held in December 2006.2007In January 2007, at the age of twelve, Daley was given a special dispensation to compete at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
The usual minimum age is fifteen.
Competing with a persistent thumb injury, Daley won the silver medal with synchro-partner Callum Johnstone in the 10-metre synchronised-diving final.
Later in 2007, he won the senior platform title at the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) National Championships, the national championship for English divers.
In 2007 he also began to compete on FINA’s international diving circuit of Grand Prix and World Series events, twice finishing fourth in individual competition 2008
In January 2008 he won the 10 m platform event at the British Championships to become the youngest winner of the senior British 10 m title.
He also won the 10 m platform synchro title with new partner Blake Aldridge.
Two weeks later he won his first medals on the FINA circuit, winning a bronze in the individual platform competition and a silver in synchro at the Madrid Grand Prix.
Daley and Aldridge won bronze in synchro at the 2008 FINA Diving World Cup.
Their score was a British record, and Daley became the youngest-ever male medallist in a world diving event.
Daley came seventh in the individual competition.
In March 2008, Daley became the youngest person to win a gold medal at the European Championships, held in Eindhoven.
The previous youngest winner was the Scottish swimmer Ian Black, who won a European gold in 1958 at the age of 17.Daley qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the individual 10 metre dive competition and, following the retirement of 2004 silver medallist Leon Taylor, in the 10 metre platform synchro competition.
It was initially claimed by the British media that in competing he would become the youngest-ever male British Olympian, until it was ascertained that Ken Lester, cox to the rowing pair at the 1960 Olympic Games, had been 13 years and 144 days old at the time.
In the Olympic synchronised 10 metre platform competition, they placed 8th, while in the individual 10 metre platform competition he finished 7th.A month after his appearance at the Olympics, Daley participated in the FINA Junior World Championships for the first time (being too young to enter before).
He finished second in the category “B” platform competition (for 14- and 15-year-old boys) with 549.60 points, between China’s Qiu Bo (551.85 points) and Wu Dongliang (474.00 points).
He came in second in the 3-metre springboard competition in the same category as well, with 485.25 points, sandwiched between the two Chinese divers, Wu Dongliang (510.25 points) and Wang Peng (470.40 points).
Daley won the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Young Personality award.
He is considered a medal prospect for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and is one of the British Olympians being tracked through the years leading up to London 2012 by the BBC television series Olympic Dreams.
By April 2008 he was on British Diving’s list of funded divers.
In February 2009 he retained his individual British 10 m championship, setting a competition personal best score of 517.55 points, 133.45 points ahead of the second-placed diver.
He was unable to defend his 10 m synchronised title, as his dive partner Blake Aldridge had been injured in a brawl at a nightclub several days before the championships and was unable to dive.
In March 2009 he improved his personal best to 540.70 in coming third at a Diving World Series event in China, and the following month he improved it to 540.85 while finishing second at the World Series event in Sheffield.
During the Olympics Daley had a row with diving partner Blake Aldridge when the latter phoned his mother between rounds.
When Aldridge missed the British Championships because of the injury sustained in the nightclub incident, Daley’s father said he’d like his son to have a different diving partner.
In April 2009 he started to dive with Max Brick, who is two years his senior, compared with the twelve year gap with Aldridge.
The pair achieved a silver medal in the 10m synchronised event at Fort Lauderdale on 8 May 2009.
Daley won the individual event in a new personal best of 554.90, scoring a perfect set of seven 10s for one of his dives.
In the 2009 FINA Wold Championships, held in Rome, Daley unexpectedly won the individual platform title despite his lower tariff, with a score of 539.85 points, when his opponents had poor final dives – Qiu Bo finished on 532.20 points, Zhou Luxin on 530.55.
In the 10 m platform synchronised event at the World Championships, Daley and Brick finished in 9th place following an inconsistent series of dives by the new pairing.
In the February 2010 British Championships individual 10 m competition, Daley unveiled his 5255B dive (back two-and-a-half somersault, two-and-a-half twists) in competition for the first time, giving him a 3.6 tariff dive (reduced from 3.8 in FINAs’ September 2009 DD tables).
In this competition Daley finished in 2nd place, 40.05 points behind Peter Waterfield.
In the March 2010 FINA Diving World Series event in Qingdao individual 10 m competition, Daley showcased his two new dives and finished in 4th place, 520.35 points (his best score of the year).
In the first April 2010 FINA Diving World Series event held in Veracruz, Mexico, Daley failed to qualify for the final round of the individual 10 m competition, but in the second event held in the same venue three days later (to replace the Sheffield DWS event which was cancelled because of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull), Daley finished in 4th place, with a score of 519.70 points – his second highest score of the season (just 0.8 points away from bronze).
In August 2010 Daley attended the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, intending to defend his individual 10m title.
However, an injury to his triceps muscle in the 10m synchro competition forced his withdrawal from both the synchro and individual 10m competitions, and placed his participation in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in the following two weeks in doubt.
It was later announced that Daley would dive in the 3m springboard but not in the 10m platform.Daley took part in the 3m springboard diving competition and finished in 9th place.
Tom received the results of his GCSE’s; two A*’s and one A.
He also achieved 100% in his Photography GCSE.
These results are an addition to the four A*’s achieved last year; Tom had to sit a number of exams early to ensure they didn’t conflict with his training schedule.
Tom received his results via email whilst in Singapore, where he was competing in the Youth Olympic Games.
Tom said, “I am so happy with my grades; this year was all about my GCSE’s, learning new dives and the Commonwealth Games. It’s a relief that the exams are out of the way now so that I can focus on preparing for Delhi”.
Tom’s parents were also pleased to hear the news.“We’re absolutely over the moon – I just can’t believe he’s got straight A’s!I always worry for him as he has very limited hours to revise as his training schedule takes up so much of his spare time; it never ceases to amaze me how he does it! ” said Debbie Daley, Tom’s mother.
Tom was in Budapest, for the European Championships, and Singapore for the Youth Olympic Games, but he was unable to compete in his event on the 10m platform due to a tricep injury.
“I really hope I recover in time for the Junior World Championships; it’s not been easy sitting on the sidelines and watching the events that I’ve spent month’s training for.It’s important that I can get back to training as soon as possible to prepare for the Commonwealth Games”.
Tom achieved four A*’s in 2009 in Maths, English Language and Double Award Science.
In August 2010 Tom achieved an A* in Spanish, Photography and an A in English Literature.
He has already commenced work for his three A-Levels, Spanish, Maths and Photography.His A-level curriculum has been fast-tracked so that all exams are completed within 18 months, by January 2012, so that in final six months of training, his focus can be solely on the 2012 Olympics.
Tom’s next competition is the 18th FINA World Junior Diving Championship 2010 in Tucson, Arizona on September 1st – 6th.
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TOM DALEY – PHOTOS
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