The Olympic Aquatic Centre sees its first action as the diving world’s finest join British favourite Tom Daley (pictured above) for seven days of elite competition. This is the last chance for competitors to qualify for a spot at the Games, so their will be no shortage of top performances.
Londonprepares.com gets you ready for the event with this preview:
What type of diving will I see this week?
Eight events in total: there are individual and synchronised events on the 3m board and 10m platform for both men and women.
Will a significant number of competitors be British?
More than 220 divers are taking part, representing approximately 40 countries. Britain will have 13 representatives in the event.
Will divers who have already qualified for the Games show up?
Absolutely. Not only is this a chance for the world’s finest to test out diving conditions at the venue described as “the Olympics’ most majestic space” ahead of the Games, but the World Cup itself is a top-ranking international event. The best divers in the world will be there, and desperate to win.
Who should I be watching out for?
China is the dominant force in diving. They won seven out of eight golds at Beijing 2008 and top the rankings in all eight
of the officially recognised diving categories. The brightest of their many stars is 19-year-old Qiu Bo, FINA’s reigning male diver of the year and recipient of an incredible 25 different “perfect 10″ scores in last year’s World Diving Series. He competes in the platform events alongside British platform hopeful Tom Daley, creating a lot of intrigue for those events.
So does Tom stand a chance?
Of course. Even if you ignore the effect of the home crowd, Daley showed he is one of the world’s best when he beat Qiu Bo to win gold at the 2009 World Championships. Daley is currently ranked third in the world as well. Alexei Evangulov, Performance Director of British Diving, has warned that the amount of media work and sponsorship he has taken on is jeopardising his Olympic chances. This is a great opportunity for Tom to rise above that criticism.
With seven days of diving, what part of it will be the most exciting?
While it should all be exciting, our choice is the final day on Sunday. This is when, among other events, a “dive-off” will take place for all competitors who did not qualify earlier in the week.
What is the schedule for the event?
Monday 20 February 10:00 – 20:30
Tuesday 21 February 10:00 – 20:55
Wednesday 22 February 10:00 – 22.25
Thursday 23 February 10:00 – 20:40
Friday 24 February 10:00 – 20:45
Saturday 25 February 10:00 – 22:05
Sunday 26 February 10:00 – 20:20
Where can I get tickets and how much are they?
Tickets are still available for early week morning sessions through Ticketmaster and are priced at £10-£30, with tickets for young people and seniors costing £5-£15.
(Feature photo: sportinglife.com)