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Swimming - 03. July 2007.

YOUNG DIVING TALENT GIVEN CHANCE TO SHINE


2nd July 2007


With Olympic medallists Leon Taylor and Peter Waterfield and Commonwealth medallist Tony Ally missing through injury, Britain's young diving talent is given the chance to show that they can step up and qualify for the British Olympic Trials.

Top young athletes that will be competing this weekend include Plymouth Diving's Thomas Daley (13) and Tonia Couch (18) and Southampton Diving Academy's Stacie Powell (21), who will all be looking to be crowned British champions.

National Performance Director Steve Foley will be looking for Britian's young athletes to dive consistently and to show their development on the road to London 2012.

"British Diving is in a transition phase with our new talent beginning to come through and gaining international experience," said Foley. "At our national competiton we are looking for our young athletes to dive well and to qualify for our Olympic trials. If they dive consistently in Sheffield then they have potential to compete in Beijing next year and move onto London 2012.

"We have been relying on our older athletes for long enough and with our three biggest names out it gives our younger athletes the chance to step up and show what they are made of. I am looking forward to the likes of Nicholas Robinson-Baker and Thomas Daley stepping forward and showing us how they have improved."

Most of Britain's young divers have been taking part in the FINA Grand Prix series throughout May and June, and Foley has been pleased with their progress in the events.

"The recent Grand Prix series gave our athletes the chance to compete on an international stage and to gain valuable experience," explained Foley. "It was good to see many of our divers making top 12 finishes and putting in some good performances.

"They have been realising the importance of competitions and putting themselves under pressure to dive well. It is important for them to dive consistently under pressure and they are seeing this now.

"We had some excellent performances in the series, notably Thomas Daley who finished 4th in one of his first international competitions which is an incredible result. Blake Aldridge put in a good performance in Germany gaining a top 6 finish also.

"In the same competition I was also pleased with the performance of Tonia Couch and Stacie Powell who finished fifth in the synchronised platform."
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