Diving for his dreams: British teen sensation Tom Daley has chance to go for gold after qualifying for 10m platform finalDaley qualifies fourth for tonight's final, which is due to begin at 8.30pmSinger Cheryl Cole: 'Good luck @tomdaley1994 you've got this !! #teamGB'Girlfriend US diver Kassidy Cook is thought to be flying to London hoping to watch him try for a gold medal
13:19 GMT, 11 August 2012
Diving star Tom Daley will try to continue Britain's spectacular medal success at London 2012 tonight when he goes for glory in the Olympic 10m platform final.
The 18-year-old British star was supported by a huge crowd in the Aquatics Centre this morning as he competed in the semi-final.
His six dives were greeted with loud cheers, and his performance clearly impressed the judges too.
Daley, from Plymouth, Devon, rose to fourth in the rankings to comfortably book his place in the final, which is due to begin at 8.30pm.
In with a chance: Britain's Tom Daley hugs his coach after qualifying in fourth place for the final of the men's 10m platform
Effort: Daley pushes himself to do better during the semi-final
Getting better: Daley recovered from a disappointing preliminary round to produce some impressive dives in the semi-final
It will be his last chance to win a
medal at London 2012, having finished fourth in the synchronised event
with his diving partner Pete Waterfield.
Eighteen divers took part in the semi-final, and Daley was one of 12 to qualify for the main event.
Watched by Team GB team-mate Tonia Couch, he produced a much better performance
than he did in last night's preliminary round, from which he only just
scraped through in 15th place.
The former world champion's hopes of a
first Olympic medal do, however, look restricted to bronze after
Chinese duo Qiu Bo and Lin Yue produced stunning performances.
Qiu, who took Daley's world title 12
months ago, qualified in first place after twice attracting perfect 10
marks from the judges. He finished with a score of 563.55.
Compatriot Lin Yue also notched a 10 as he finished 21.75 points further back and 20.70 up on of Daley.
Making waves: Tom Daley qualified from the semi-final with the fourth-highest score
Favourite: Strongly-fancied Chinese diver Qiu Bo competes in the semi-final
Top performer: Lin Yue of China is expected to be among the medal contenders
Daley told the BBC: 'It was a lot better than last night. That's the thing with diving – anything can happen.
'As you can see – the Olympic
champion has just not qualified for the final and I've completely turned
around my performance, and the same with David [Boudia].
'Myself and David were at the bottom
end of the prelim and now we're at the top end of the semi-final, so
it's turned around a lot.
'It feels weird going into another
competition after knowing the disappointment from the synchro, being so
close yet so far away.
'Going into the individual I really
wanted to prove a point of going there and trying to give it my best
shot so last night [it] was tough to get through all that competition.
Support: Tonia Couch (centres) cheers on her Team GB team-mate Tom Daley during the men's 10m platform diving semi-final
Determined to succeed: Tom Daley competing in the men's 10m Platform Diving Preliminary
Clear head: Daley prepares himself ahead of his next dive
Encouragement: Daley's girlfriend, US diver Kassidy Cook, is believed to be on her way to London to watch him try for a gold medal
'So I'm happy that I made the semi-finals, and now I made the final. Anything can happen tonight.
'I'm gradually getting sharper and
sharper. It's hard to compete in the prelims and the semi-finals when
you know it doesn't count towards the medals yet you need to do enough
'So that's the toughest part done at
the Olympics, to actually qualify for the final, and now I've done that
I'm going to give it my best shot tonight.'
Daley admitted he was most likely diving for a bronze medal at best tonight following the performance of the Chinese.
'With the men's platform, bronze is almost gold and then anything above that is platinum and beyond,' he said.
'It's going to be very tough but in diving you just don't know what is going to happen.
'The Chinese have been very
consistent and they seem to be pretty unstoppable at the minute. We'll
have to see what happens tonight.'
After a slow start Daley began to gain confidence
Taste for success: Hurdles in recent weeks have left Daley more determined to succeed
It was a testing time for Daley as only 18 of the 31 competitors will go through to the next round
Daley, whose father Rob died of cancer last year, had an extra incentive to
impress after singer Cheryl Cole tweeted him: 'Good luck @tomdaley1994 you've got this !! #teamGB'.
It is also thought his girlfriend, US diver Kassidy Cook, is
flying to London to watch him compete
The pair have known each other for
years as friends, but are now said to be ‘smitten’.
Miss Cook, 17, was
unable to compete at the Olympics because of a shoulder injury.
After his disappointment in the
synchronised event, Daley’s mother Debbie said: ‘I did not see him for
three hours after the competition, by which time he had regained his
composure and was his usual jovial self. But I know how much it hurt.’
But she said she had faith that he
could triumph in the individual event, saying: ‘I can’t wait to see our
boy climb that 10m board and fight for a medal.
‘He wants it for himself, for his
dad, for his team and for his country, and he’s thought of little else
since he opened the diving pool at the Aquatics Centre a year ago.’
Daley looked tense as he walked away from the pool after his first board
Family affair: Daley's mother – wearing a 'TEAM DALEY' shirt snaps photos of her son as his brothers sit next to her
Great Britain's Tom Daley (left) and Peter Waterfield arrive for the preliminary round of the men's 10m Platform Diving at the Aquatics Centre