30 Jul 2012

Team GB misses out on diving medal

Britain’s divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield miss out on a medal as China clinches gold.

Daley and Waterfield

Daley and Waterfield had a promising opening in the 10m synchronised diving event, but struggled in the later rounds in the six-round final. The pair got the highest scores in the first three rounds, but then suffered the lowest score in the fourth round.They picked up 87.69 points in the fifth round and a strong 91.8 points in their final round.

Daley and Waterfield finished in fourth place with 454.65 points. China’s Cao Yuan and Yanquan Zhang won the event with total points of 486.78 – ahead of silver medal winning Mexico and bronze medallists USA.

At the halfway stage of the competition, Daley and Waterfield were ahead of their Chinese rivals by two and a half points, with the British pair on 203.88 compared with China’s 201.48. However, the pair’s fourth round dive scored a low 71.28 compared with China’s 93.06 – pushing Team GB back from first place into fourth.

Daley and Waterfield stood a good chance of securing a podium finish following success at the FINA Diving World Series earlier this year. The pair finished with a number one ranking following the four-event series across March and April.

However, the Chinese team only dived in three out of the four events at the FINA series, and had they competed further it was likely they would have taken the top ranking.

China has dominated competitive diving since winning its first Olympic gold medal in the sport in 1984. Including the 1984 Games in Los Angles, China has won 26 gold medals at Olympic Games, compared with 13 for the rest of the world.

China won the gold in the 10m synchronised dive at Beijing and Athens. For Daley a greater challenge awaits in the form of Bo Qiu, the phenomenal Chinese diver who is largely unbeaten over the past two years.

Qiu, 19, picked up the gold at the FINA World Series in 2011. He competed in only two of the FINA series’ events in 2012 but was top in both. He took the gold at the FINA diving world cup in London in February this year.

The contest comes just over a year after the death of Daley’s father, Rob, following a five-year battle with cancer. Daley used Twitter this morning to thank those who have supported him in the “toughest year of my life”.

Zoe Smith

Team GB today

Also looking to secure a podium finish today are weightlifter Zoe Smith (pictured right), who started at 12:30 today, the Great Britain men’s artistic gymnastics team led by Louis Smith, and swimmers Liam Tancock, Robbie Renwick and Gemma Spofforth.

Smith, 18, is unlikely to finish with a medal but did break the British record for her clean and jerk lift of 121 kg.

Smith, who was in the second tier of female weightlifters in the 58kg weight category, finished with a total of 211kg following the 121 kg clean and jerk lift and a 90 kg snatch lift. She was second in group B behind Ecuadorian Maria Alexandra Escobar Guerrero, who had a total of 226 kg.

However, this afternoon the A group will be compete, in which a number of competitors are likely to eclipse Smith’s achievement.

The men’s artistic gymnastic team qualified for the Olympic final for the first time since 1924 following team captain Louis Smith’s endeavours on the pommel horse, in which he came first.

From 7:41pm a number of swimming finals will take place with Robbie Renwick in the 200m freestyle, and Liam Tancock and Gemma Spofforth in the 100m backstroke.

Britain’s rowers were also eased into the next round of their competitions. Double sculls partners Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins broke the Olympic record in their heat in order to book a place in the final.

The pair won their heat in six minutes, 44.33 seconds – beating the previous Olympic record set by Germany in Barcelona in 1992 by five seconds.

The British men’s fours also won their heat to progress to the semi-finals on Thursday, and the GB eights won as well, meaning they have now qualified for Wednesday’s final.

In table tennis, Paul Drinkhall, who achieved a shock win over Singapore’s Yang Zi yesterday, is now out of the Olympics following a defeat to Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov.