Aquatics / Olympics

Couch determined to take the pressure of her Olympic diving partner Toulson

Tonia Couch

PLYMOUTH Olympic diver Tonia Couch is determined to try and take the pressure of her teenage synchro partner Lois Toulson.

Couch is competing in her third Olympic Games, but for 16-year-old Toulson it will be a totally new experience.

The pair will look for glory on Tuesday evening when they take on the world’s best in the 10m synchro final (8pm, BST).

Britain has only ever won one female diving Olympic medal and that was 56 years ago in Rome when Elizabeth Ferris claimed an individual springboard bronze.

“It wouldn’t be fair for me to put pressure on Lois and say we definitely going to win a medal because this is her first Olympics,” said Couch.

“She is just 16 and has a huge future in the sport by making it to the Games at such a young age so the goal is to go out, have fun, dive well and enjoy the experience.

“Of course we have a chance of a medal if we perform to our best, we will be right up there but the best way to do that is to be positive and enjoy the experience.”

Couch and Toulson have only dived competitively together for a few months.

Sarah Barrow was Couch’s previous partner, but British officials decided to change the partnership when Barrow was injured.

Couch and Barrow did team up to secure Great Britain their Olympic spot by winning bronze at the World Cup in Rio in February, but Toulson was brought in for the World Series and European Championships.

“Of course we are a relatively new partnership and at first, we didn’t have much time to train together so things were difficult, but everything has really clicked in the last few months and we are training really well now,” said Couch.

“It is my third Olympic Games so I feel ready for everything but this is the first Olympics for Lois so I try and offer my experience where I can. I try to look after her where I can.”

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