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Daley warned his medal hopes could take a dive

Last updated on: February 15, 2012 17:25 IST

Daley warned his medal hopes could take a dive

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British diver Tom Daley has been warned that his media appearances could sink his hopes of winning gold at his home London Olympics.

Daley became one of the country's leading medal hopes after he won the 10-metre platform world title in Rome in 2009 at the age of 15, but he finished only fifth at last year's championships in Shanghai.

British diving performance director Alexei Evangulov told reporters that Daley's Chinese rivals were working and training harder without the distractions of regular media and sponsorship commitments.

"If I had power over this, I would restrict it," the Russian said of Daley's media work. "Sometimes it hinders our preparations, but I can't do anything about it.

"If you look at the Chinese, they work three times harder. That's the only secret.

"If you compare them to Thomas, he has many commitments in his media activities. He's very active, not like the Chinese. The Chinese have restricted their divers and I support them on this," added Evangulov.


Photographs: Getty Images

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'Daley's fifth place was an accurate reflection'

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China swept all 10 diving golds at last year's World championships, the first time a country had done so since the United States won the four titles on offer in 1982.

Evangulov said Daley's fifth place was an accurate reflection of his diver's ranking and told Britons they were mistaken in thinking he was the best in the world rather than one of the best.

Daley is due to take part in a World Cup event in the Olympic Aquatics Centre next week in his first international competition since the championships.

The Briton, who has sponsorship deals with Adidas, Nestle and BMW-owned Mini and has talked of a future in television, played down his coach's words and said his appearances were already limited.

"I don't do any media now that affects my training," he said. "Leading into competition I am on complete media lockdown...so it is definitely very controlled now."


Photographs: Getty Images

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