Aquatics

Daley wins second World Cup gold as Dixon also impresses in Tokyo

TOM DALEY claimed his second gold medal of the FINA World Cup on Tuesday when he triumphed in the men’s individual 10m platform final.

The former world champion scored 541.70 points, including a massive 104.40 points for his final dive, to hold off the challenge of Mexico’s Willars Valdez (MEX).

That followed on from his success in the men’s synchro event with Matty Lee at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Saturday.

But Daley was not the only Plymouth diver impressing in the men’s platform final in Japan on Tuesday.

Matthew Dixon, who turned 21 just last month, finished an encouraging sixth place in the global final.

British champion Dixon has won European and Commonwealth Games medals and he showed he can mix it with the world’s best on the big stage in Japan.

Dixon, who has not been able to train in Plymouth for more than a year now due to work going on at the Life Centre, dived better in the final than he had done in the preliminary round and semi-finals.

He was one of the most consistent divers in the showpiece event, with all his six dives scoring between 64.80 points and 81.60 points to finish with a total of 437.80 points.

Dixon, who scored a PB 503.85 points last year in Plymouth to with the British title, and Daley, who managed 590.95 points on his way to the world title in 2017, will know there is even more to come, but both will be encouraged by their displays after more than a year without any international competitions due to the pandemic.

“It’s quite hard to keep a consistent training programme for so long, without having the opportunity to compete,” said Daley.

“At the end of the day, we train with the goal of competing. So, it’s very good to be here right now, competing, feeling this atmosphere and working on a couple of things that need improvement.

“It was very nice to come to Tokyo and to evaluate where I am at the moment.”

Daley will know, barring injury or illness, he will be returning to Tokyo in three months’ time for his fourth Olympic Games and Dixon will be hoping to join him, but there is tough competition for the second platform spot on the British team.

Daley admitted it was good to experience the facilities in Tokyo ahead of this summer.

“I’m really happy with how everything went,” he said. “There’s still a few little things I’d like to work on but I’m really happy to get back into competition, dust off the cobwebs and dive in the Olympic pool.

“The pool is great, the facilities are awesome and Japan have done an amazing job at following Covid protocols to make the event happen in the first place.

“It’s slightly different to what we’re used to when we are away but I’m extremely grateful to have the chance to compete and I’m very much excited about heading to the European Championships next week before hopefully returning here in July.”

Both Daley and Dixon will be part of the British team at the European Championships in Budapest next week.

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