Couch will lead the way for Plymouth’s aquatic stars at European Champs

Tonia Couch

PLYMOUTH diver Tonia Couch will be looking for glory on Tuesday evening at the LEN European Championships in London.

Couch will compete in the women’s 10m platform synchro event with Leeds’ Lois Toulson on the second day of the championships.

The pair will go into the event as favourites having impressed in the 2016 World Series, where they were ranked third overall behind China and Canada. Their biggest rivals in London will be the Russian pair of Yulia Timoshinina and Ekoterina Petukhova.

Couch won gold in the European Championship synchro event in 2012 with fellow Plymothian Sarah Barrow.

Olympian Couch will also dive in the individual platform event, which takes place on Friday. She will again be the diver to watch in that competition.

Her Plymouth team-mate Barrow won the individual title in 2014 but controversially has not been selected to compete for Great Britain in London, despite finishing second behind Couch at the National Cup.

Tom Daley will compete in three events at the European Championships.

He will be up first on Wednesday in the mixed three-metre event with Grace Reid before competing in the men’s platform synchro with Plymouth Diving’s Dan Goodfellow on Thursday.

Daley and Goodfellow have enjoyed an impressive start to their new partnership, winning a World Cup bronze in their first international and then picking up medals at all four World Series events.

Their big challenge in London will come from Germany’s experienced pair of Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding, Russia’s Viktor Minibaev and Roman Izmailov and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Gorshkovozov and Maksym Dolgov.

Daley will then compete in the individual event on Sunday in the pool where he now trains and where he won an Olympic bronze medal in 2012.

The women’s competitions at the European Championships might not be the strongest, but the men’s events will be a lot tougher.

Daley said: “It’s going to be a perfect measure for me to know how I am and what I’m doing and where I am leading into the Olympic Games.

“It’s going to be tough because the European male divers are actually the top divers in the world.

“I’m going to have tough competition from Ukraine, Russia, Germany. They’re going to be my biggest rivals. But it will be interesting to go out there and see what happens.”

The swimming events in London start the follow week and Plymouth Leander will have 10 athletes competing – Ben Proud, Laura Stephens, Tom Fannon, Jessica Jackson, Ruta Meilutyte, Mindaugas Sadauskas, Kregor Zirk, Ana-Maria Damjanovska, Juliette Casini and Matthew Zammit.

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