PLYMOUTH divers Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow will be hoping to get Great Britain off to a memorable start at the London leg of the FINA/NVC World Series.
The city pair compete in the first event of the three-day competition at the Olympic pool – the women’s synchro platform final on Friday (12noon).
Couch and Barrow go into event on a high after claiming a bronze medal last weekend at the Russian leg in Kazan.
Couch also won her second successive individual bronze medal at the stunning Aquatics Palace, which will host this summer’s World Championships.
But the pair are not taking anything for granted this weekend in front of a home crowd.
“It’s great to come back from Russia with a bronze medal,” said Barrow. “But now it’s time for us to step it up a gear.
“We won a silver medal at this event in London last year in front of a fantastic home crowd, so we’re looking forward to seeing if we can do better this year.
“There’s always excitement and pressure around competing in front of a home crowd, but it gives us the chance to turn that pressure into something positive.”
Couch, who was named Glamour’s sports star of the week on Thursday, is also hoping British diving fans can play their part this weekend.
She said: “It makes you nervous, but the nerves are good. It’s exciting with everyone cheering you and it give you goose bumps. It makes you want to achieve the best even more than you already do. We’re very excited. We’ve been working very hard and we’re excited to compete in front of such a great crowd to cheer us on.”
The pair will also compete on Sunday in the individual platform event, where they will be in different semi-finals. Fellow Plymothian Tom Daley will also dive on Sunday at the pool he now trains in and where he won an Olympic bronze medal in 2012.
Daley said: “It is awesome to be back here. I get to train here every day and it’s always nice to be able to compete there because we get good crowds.”
Daley has had a mixed World Series so far. He missed out on the final in Beijing, but won silver with a new personal best in Dubai before finishing fifth in last weekend’s event in Kazan, which was another high-scoring competition.
He said: “There are some positives and negatives to take out of the whole World Series that I’ve done so far. Dubai was obviously a highlight with a personal best and a silver medal and then with the Russian leg, there was lots of things that were really good in it – I got the highest scoring dive of the competition in my fifth round.
“I feel like I’m in the best shape that I have been in for a very long time but it’s just about making sure that I can put it together.”
The 2015 World Series has so far proved highly successful for Great Britain. They have picked up six medals from the last two events alone, including two golds from Jack Laugher.
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