Britain’s top divers ready to go in season-opening event at Life Centre

Life Centre

Dan Goodfellow and Tom DaleyTHE country’s top divers will be in Plymouth this weekend as the Life Centre hosts the National Cup.

The event will see Olympic medallists Jack Laugher, Chris Mears, Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow compete for the first time since their success in Rio.

Also in action will be fellow Olympians Tonia Couch, Lois Toulson, Freddie Woodward, Oliver Dingley and Yona Knight-Wisdom.

Couch will lead a strong Plymouth challenge at the event. Also competing for Plymouth Diving will be Alfie Brown (1m, 3m platform), Alex Kostov (1m, 3m), Aidan Heslop (3m, 10m 3m mixed synchro), Kayleigh Sinclair (1m 3m, 3m mixed synchro), Cody Powell-Tuckett (platform) and European junior champion and world junior bronze medallist Matthew Dixon (platform, 3m men’s synchro, 10m men’s synchro)

Former Plymouth diver Shanice Lobb, who recently moved to London, will also be in action in her home city.

With Daley not competing in the men’s individual platform event, Dixon will be one of the favourites, along with his former club team-mate Goodfellow and Matty Lee.

Plymothian and European champion Daley, who like Lobb trains in London, will concentrate on the mixed synchro events this weekend.

He will team up with long-term friend and European women’s silver medallist Couch as mixed platform synchro makes its debut. It is possible the event could be added to the Olympic Games programme.

Daley will also compete in the three-metre mixed synchro with Grace Reid. The pair won gold at last year’s European Championships.

Couch, like Daley, will not compete individually. She will just concentrate on the synchro events.

Plymouth Diving’s Andy Banks said: “It’s always great to welcome Britain’s top divers to Plymouth and to the fantastic facilities and event organisers at the Life Centre. Bring on the first major competition of 2017.”

British Diving national performance director Alexei Evangulov added: “The National Cup will be a great test for our top level athletes, following a post Rio break and return to training.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the divers perform as we begin the next Olympic cycle and start out preparations for the FINA World Championships in Budapest later this year.

“The competition also provides our younger athletes an opportunity to showcase their abilities as we look to build and strengthen our programme towards Tokyo.”

Plymouth City Council is delighted to be once again playing host to a top event.

Councillor Glenn Jordan, the council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “Plymouth is proud to be home to some hugely talented divers and to be hosting the National Diving Cup.

“This is one of the premier events in the British diving calendar and showcases the fantastic talent we have here in the UK. I’m sure we can look forward to some very impressive performances over the three days.”

The event was initially advertised as a ‘closed championships’ but a limited number of tickets have now been made available on first come first served basis ahead of event session. British Swimming, though, will be streaming it live on their Facebook page.

The following weekend Plymouth Diving will welcome all the country’s up-and-coming stars to the Life Centre for the Armada Cup.

That popular annual event takes place from February 11-14.

Plymouth Diving are searching for a new sponsor for that competition after being let down at the last minute. If anyone can help they should contact Plymouth Diving at the Life Centre on 01752 606900.

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