GREAT Britain diving team leader Alexei Evangulov is delighted with the way Plymouth Diving’s Dan Goodfellow has comeback from serious injury to form an impressive synchro partnership with Tom Daley.
Goodfellow missed a season-and-a-half, first with an elbow injury and then with a career-threatening shoulder problem.
The teenager was forced to pull out of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and also missed out on a host of other major events, including a World Cup and a World Junior Championship.
Before his injury problems, Goodfellow was forming a successful synchro partnership with Matty Lee. The pair won a World Series medal in 2014.
However, on his return from injury, it was decided to partner Goodfellow with Daley, who had not had a regular synchro partner since Peter Waterfield retired in 2013 after the pair narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal in London the year before.
Daley and Goodfellow have hit the ground running, winning medals at every event they have competed in since their debut at the start of this year and they will head to Rio with a realistic chance of making the podium.
“Everyone’s done a good job to get Dan in the condition now where he can just concentrate on training and not injuries,” said Evangulov.
“It’s been a great job from everyone all together – medical teams, strength and conditioning coaches etc.”
Evangulov admitted British Diving will be doing everything they can to make sure Goodfellow continues his good form and fitness through to the Olympics.
“Dan is doing well,” said Evangulov. “All the medical team is working with him because he lost all last season as he was injured.
“Now he is okay but all the medical team is focussing on his health because both synchro divers have to be robust.
“Platform divers are more vulnerable to injury than springboard divers.”
Great Britain has never won an Olympic diving gold medal and only at one Games – Rome in 1960 – have they claimed more than one medal, with Brian Phelps and Elizabeth Ferris each claiming bronzes in the Italian capital 56 years ago.
Since 1960 Britain have only won two medals in total – one in 2004 when Waterfield and Leon Taylor won synchro silver in Athens and in 2012 when Daley won individual 10m bronze in London.
However, the GB diving team head to Brazil this year hoping they can rewrite history.
In the last 12 months they have enjoyed their most successful ever World Championships and European Championships.
When asked what the goal was for this summer’s Games, Evangulov said: “We have our official target, which is to get a medal and, according to our last performances, we are ready make this.
“But theoretically we can make up to three medals, but Olympic Games are so unpredictable and anything can happen.”
As well as Daley and Goodfellow, Plymouth’s Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow are also part of the GB diving team.
Couch will compete in both the women’s 10m synchro and individual events, while former European champion Barrow will take part in the individual.
Both have proved on their day they can match the best in the world.
Meanwhile, some of Plymouth Diving’s most promising youngsters have flown out to Rijeka, Croatia, to prepare for the European Junior Championships
Matthew Dixon, Shanice Lobb, Kayleigh Sinclair, Victoria Vincent, Aiden Heslop and Alfie Brown were all named in Great Britain’s squad for the event which starts on June 28 and runs through to July 3.