Sunday, July 14, 2024

World Aquatics Championships 2024: Tom Daley and Noah Williams take silver to secure Olympic spot – BBC


Daley (right) first competed at an Olympics as 14-year-old in Beijing in 2008
Tom Daley won silver in the World Championships on his international comeback alongside partner Noah Williams in the 10m synchronised event.
It secures Britain a place in the event at the Paris Olympics and, while that spot is not guaranteed to be Daley's, it puts him in line for a fifth Games.
Daley, 29, stepped away from the sport after winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics before returning in late 2023.
Artistic swimmers Izzy Thorpe and Kate Shortman also sealed an Olympic spot.
The British pair won a second medal in four days with bronze in the free duet final in Doha, having taken an historic silver in Monday's technical duet.
Daley is competing on the international stage for the first time since August 2021 and was part of the British quartet that won world gold in the team event on Friday.
He said he was "terrified" before the event but was in fine form as he and Williams took silver with a score of 422.37.
"Once I got into the competition, and being with Noah, I kind of relaxed and was like, 'ah, this is what it feels like'," he said.
"We knew that we had to try to qualify for 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."
Daley and Williams had to finish in the top four to guarantee Team GB an Olympic quota place for the event.
Chinese pair Lian Junjie and Hao Yang dominated to win gold with 470.76 points – their third world title in a row – while Oleksii Sereda and Kirill Boliukh claimed bronze.
"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," Daley said.
"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."
Williams added: "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, but 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."
The final selection for the British team will be confirmed at a later date.
Thorpe and Shortman's silver on Monday made them the first Britons to win a duet medal at a World Championships
Thorpe and Shortman's silver in the technical duet on Monday – the first time a British pair had won a duet medal at the world championships – put them in a strong position for Olympic qualification.
The Olympic spots were handed out after combining Monday's scores with those in Thursday's free duet final, where Great Britain took 247.26 points.
They were only pipped by China, who took gold with 250.77, and the Netherlands' 250.49 points in second place meaning they finished as the best pair yet to qualify for the Games.
"It's such a relief now to say we have qualified," said Shortman, 22.
"It's incredible, honestly. If people knew how much it takes to get to an Olympic Games, it really should not be underestimated.
"People ask you all the time, 'so when are you going to the Olympics?' and you have to say, 'the job's not done yet'.
"It's such a relief to be able to say we have finally made it."
Thorpe, also 22, added: "Even after the prelims swim yesterday, everyone was saying, 'ah, you've basically made it', and we were like 'no, no, it's not done until it's done!'
"So we are just so happy it's a weight off our shoulders – and on to big things hopefully this year."
Thorpe and Shortman competed at the Tokyo Olympics but did not make the final
British Swimming
British Swimming: Diving
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