TOM DALEY finally managed to get his hands on a World Championship men’s synchro medal on Monday afternoon when he won bronze with Matty Lee in Gwangju.
Plymouth-born Daley already had five World Championships medals in his collection before heading to South Korea, but they were all for either individual, team or mixed events.
Now he has one for every event and in the process has booked Great Britain a synchro spot at next year’s Olympic Games.
With one round to go in Monday’s final the pressure could not have been higher on Daley and Lee after a mistake in the fifth round left the Ukraine team breathing down their necks. But the British pair delivered when it mattered most and scored 89.91 point for their final effort to guarantee a place on the podium.
Daley said afterwards: “I’ve never been in a position before where I’ve had a synchro partner the year before the Olympics and knowing that if we got a medal we weren’t just world medallists, but we’d also qualify a spot for the Olympic Games for GB. It is a massive relief and job done.
“It feels so good, but now the mission starts for the individual event – it’s top 12 in that event to secure a spot at the Olympic Games and I’ve also got the mixed three-metre synchro as well, so there’s lots still to come.”
Two polished required dives set Daley and Lee on their way in the final, with China and Russia holding a marginal advantage. But as anticipated it came down to the four optional dives.
Round three for the British pair was solid, but it was the fourth round where they shifted up into top gear, scoring a huge 97.20 points for their back three-and-a-half somersault pike to move up to second place.
A slip in round five saw them only score 57.12 points, which left the Ukraine team just two points behind them.
But Daley and Lee responded with their final dive – a front three-and-a-half somersault tuck – to take bronze with a total of 425.91 points.
China’s Yuan Cao and Aisen Chen won gold with a massive 486.93 points, with the experienced Russian pair of Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev second with 444.60 points.
Daley will be back in action Friday morning in men’s 10m qualifying, where he will be looking to defend his world title, while he will contest the mixed three-metre synchro with Grace Reid on Saturday night.