World Championships Doha: Tom Daley Set For Fifth Olympics After Synchro Silver With Noah Williams

Noah Williams & Tom Daley: Photo courtesy: World Aquatics

World Championships Doha: Tom Daley Set For Fifth Olympics After Synchro Silver With Noah Williams

Tom Daley is on course for his fifth Olympics after winning silver alongside Noah Williams in the men’s 10m synchro at the World Championships in Doha.

Lian Junjie and Yang Hao of China claimed their third straight gold with Oleksii Sereda and Kirill Boliukh of Ukraine finishing third.

The Chinese duo closed out their series with a forward 4 ½ somersaults tuck (109C) which earned them 104.34pts and overall score of 470.76pts.

Daley and Williams were in second throughout on their first international outing as a pair, with their third-round 3 1/2 somersaults tuck (407C) bringing the Hamad Aquatic Centre to its feet before finishing with 422.37pts to secure an Olympic spot for Great Britain.

It was Britain’s seventh medal of the World Championships so far, eclipsing the previous best haul of six from Budapest 2022.

The Ukrainian duo were in joint-10th at halfway before moving into third in the penultimate round with a forward 4 ½ somersaults tuck worth 89.91pts for an overall score of 406.47.

Yang said:

“This world title has been different from the two previous ones, because we have the Paris Olympic Games coming up and our rivals are participating in this event, so we had more pressure than usual. Still I think that we should put more focus on ourselves and do better.”

Daley Set For Paris, 16 Years After Olympic Debut

Daley made his Olympic debut aged 14 at Beijing 2008 and has since competed at London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Tom Daley

Tom Daley: Photo Courtesy: Jim Thurston

During that time, the Plymouth-born athlete has won 15 Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth titles.

Despite a career of such longevity and success at the very top table, Daley experienced intense pre-competition nerves, saying:

“I was terrified when I woke up this morning, terrified eating breakfast, and at lunch! But once I got into the competition, and being with Noah, I kind of relaxed and was like, ‘ah, this is what it feels like’.

“We knew that we had to try to qualify a spot for the Olympics, which we succeeded in – but I think we went into it more fighting for the medals rather than thinking about the spots. We’re super happy, and it’s my first ever silver medal at a World Championships, so I’ve got the set now!”

With that, Daley – as his old school headteacher watched on in Doha – added silver to gold in the mixed team event on the opening day.

It was the eighth world medal of his career, stretching back to Rome 2009 where he won the individual 10m platform title aged 15 on a memorable night at the Foro Italico.

Now 29, Daley has four Olympic medals among his armoury.

Bronze in the 10m platform at a home Games at London 2012 was followed four years later in Rio by third in the synchro before he added another bronze in the individual and gold in the synchro with Matty Lee.

Paris 2024 is all set to be the next step for the Briton who only announced his comeback last July after two years away from the diving pit following Tokyo and retirement all but rubber-stamped.

Daley continued:

“Today was what it all came down to, whether I was going to be able to be fit enough to dive with Noah in the first place, and then be able to actually come in the top qualifying spots.
“That’s mission accomplished so far, and now it’s about staying fit and healthy to get to the start line, so now the real work starts.”

Tom Daley & Noah Williams: Photo courtesy: World Aquatics

It was a second world 10m synchro silver for Williams who partnered Lee at the Budapest World Championships in 2022.

He said:

“We came into the competition just trying to get an Olympic spot, and we did that and got a medal as well, so we’re very happy with the performance. We obviously haven’t trained too much together, but I think it has come pretty naturally to both of us.

“Tom said about seeing if he’s fit enough to dive with me, it’s definitely the other way around! I just try to do my best next to him, he’s obviously a great diver, so the better I dive, we’ll hopefully be able to be pushing for gold.”

Elsewhere at the Doha World Championships, Maddison Keeney of Australia topped the women’s 3m springboard prelims with 30.45pts ahead of defending champion Chen Yiwen (297.75) and Sarah Bacon (297.75).






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