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- 18. March 2008.


After qualifying places in every event at the Olympic Games, the LEN European Diving Championships will provide the 13-strong squad with their next international challenge as they prepare for the biggest sporting event in the world this summer.

National Performance Director Steve Foley has been impressed with the performances from the squad over the last six months and is anticipating another strong performance in Eindhoven.

"I am looking for the squad to keep up the momentum of the last few week and I think if we can do that we will be able to get a few medals at the competition.

"I have been really impressed with the team's morale and confidence, there is a really good feeling around them and that is great to see.

"This event will provide a good test for the athletes, some of them are fatigued and it will be good to see how well they can switch back into competition mode."

There is one change to the squad that competed at the World Cup and with Peter Waterfield being rested; Gareth Jones (Southampton) gets the chance to make an impact in the 10m individual event.

The rest of the British squad will have competed in five international meets in four months and for Foley this was the best way to prepare the squad for the tough Olympic year ahead.

"It was part of our plan to get our athletes to do as many competitions as possible in the lead up to the World Cup," Foley added. "We strategically planned the events the athletes would take part in. We wanted to competition harden them.

"They are a relatively young and inexperienced squad and by doing more events they are gaining the experience to give them a good standing on the international stage and it worked really well for us and we got some outstanding results while in Beijing.

"We learnt from the Melbourne World Championships last March; we didn't give the divers much exposure to competitions in the lead up and we noticed the effect on our results over there.

"The whole squad has been showing excellent form over the past few months and for the synchro pairs to have performed so well in Beijing with that pressure on them was fantastic to see. The pairs have looked strong for some time and I will be looking for them to continue their consistency here."

British Champion Ben Swain (City of Sheffield) will have to put any fatigue he may be feeling to one side as he looks for success on the boards in the 3m individual and the 3m synchro.

He has a series of tough competitions under his belt and goes into this competition with the desire to prove he has what it takes to take on the best in Europe.

"I am feeling confident about this competition. My main aim is to get a medal in the 3m synchro event," he said. "Russia was the only European team to beat Nick and I at the World Cup and to come here and beat them would be great.

"In the individual event I want to put more consistency into my performance. I didn't perform well in the prelims at the World Cup and I want to go out harder and continue my momentum into the final.

"When we came back from Beijing I went back into my weights training. We are working on improving my strength so I can get the same power on the boards that Nick has and this will help us with our synchronisation."

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