British Diving has announced a 14-strong team for the LEN European Aquatics Championships which features world medallists Tom Daley, Jack Laugher, Chris Mears and Rebecca Gallantree.
Daley returns to the scene of his Olympic bronze-medal winning performance from 2012 as major international competition returns to London Aquatics Centre in May.
The 21-year-old, the European champion from 2008 and 2012 in the men’s 10m platform, also trains at the London Aquatics Centre under the guise of coach Jane Figueiredo.
“It is really exciting to have the European Championships in May in London in my home pool,” Daley said. “It is great to think that the London 2012 pool has such a great legacy and we can now hold Diving World Series, European Championships – all these major world events.
“The European Championships is going to be the best preparation leading into the Olympic Games. It is actually the last major competition that I will compete in before the Olympics so it is on our radar and one we are going to try and peak for and try to do the best performance we can.”
Daley knows the London Aquatics Centre well having won Olympic bronze in the men’s 10m platform at the venue in 2012 as well as FINA World Diving Series gold almost a year ago.
“It is really exciting to dive in front of a home crowd again and it is going to be a great warm up for the Olympic Games,” Daley added. “It feels great to be able to dive in a pool that you train in every day, you feel comfortable, you know the surroundings, you know the pool. Even the little things like you know where you are going to get water or you know where you are going to get ice – it does make a massive difference.”
Daley will be joined on the 14-strong team by training partner and Londoner Georgia Ward, who is set to be one of seven to make their debut at the European Aquatics Championships.
Daley’s 10m synchro partner Dan Goodfellow is one of those debutants along with Lois Toulson, Matty Lee, Freddie Woodward, Katherine Torrance and Jordan Houlden.
At 16-years old Toulson is the youngest member of the team and she’ll be joined by experienced club-mates in world 3m synchro bronze medallists Laugher and Mears.
Tonia Couch, Gallantree and Alicia Blagg also add a wealth of major event experience to the team having competed at the 2012 Olympics at the London Aquatics Centre. Grace Reid first competed at a European Aquatics Championships in 2010 and she will be eager to use her experience of the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games in London.
National Performance Director Alexei Evangulov said: “We have selected a large team for the European Championships which will see a British athlete in action on almost every day of the competition in London.
“The European Championships are an important event in our calendar as it is the last time the divers will compete internationally ahead of the Olympics in Rio so it is a vital opportunity to test ourselves against our rivals from the continent.
“This is the largest ever British Team that has attended a Europeans and we will be going into the seven-day competition in London eager for success.”
The European Aquatics Championships are the biggest event to be held at the London Aquatics Centre since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and diving will run from May 9-15.
The British Diving Team consists of*:
Thomas Daley – Dive London (10m, 10m Synchro, 3m Mix)
Daniel Goodfellow – Plymouth Divinng (10m Synchro)
Jordan Houlden – City of Sheffield (1m)
Jack Laugher – City of Leeds (3m, 3m Synchro)
Matthew Lee – City of Leeds (10m, 10m Mix)
Chris Mears – City of Leeds (3m Synchro)
Freddie Woodward – City of Sheffield (3m, 1m)
Alicia Blagg – City of Leeds (3m Synchro, 3m Mix)
Tonia Couch – Plymouth Diving (10m, 10m Synchro)
Rebecca Gallantree – City of Leeds (3m, 3m Synchro)
Grace Reid – Edinburgh Diving (3m, 1m)
Katherine Torrance – City of Leeds (1m)
Lois Toulson – City of Leeds (10m Synchro)
Georgia Ward – Dive London (10m, 10 mix)
*Events are subject to change.
Swimming news courtesy of British Swimming.