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Diving star Tom Daley says move to London will boost Rio Olympic bid

Tom Daley at the London Aquatics Centre. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images Tom Daley at the London Aquatics Centre. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
4:18 PM

Tom Daley admits his relocation to London has kick-started his desire to do well at the Rio Olympics in 2016 - but he hopes the change will produce improvements in his performace much sooner.

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British diving coach Jane Figueiredo gives instructions to Tom Daley. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty ImagesBritish diving coach Jane Figueiredo gives instructions to Tom Daley. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The 19-year-old took a bronze medal in the 10 metre platform event at London 2012 and has now made the decision to leave his hometown of Plymouth to boost his chances of achieving even more in three years time.

The move came with complications, the biggest of which was the need to find a new coach, which Daley has done by linking up with former University of Houston diving coach Jane Figueiredo.

With the facilities of the Olympic aquatic centre and the new partnership with Figueiredo, Daley believes improvements in his performance will follow quickly.

A new coach always takes a little time to settle with the relationship, he said.

Tom Daley in action during a training session at the London Aquatics Centre. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty ImagesTom Daley in action during a training session at the London Aquatics Centre. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

I did a lot of work with her [Figueiredo] out in Houston last year so at the moment we have a great relationship and I think you will see the results relatively quickly, hopefully in the next six months or so.

Working with Jane is great. It has been so much fun, she has pushed me as much as she needs to, different ideas and new things to think about, it is always good to have a fresh set of eyes on something.

Daley also timed the move to best suit his attack on the 2014 season following an injury-plagued 2013 and the elation of his home Olympics the previous summer.

He added: Moving to London for me, this amazing facility is the number one reason, it is a great place to be.

Tom Daley of Great Britain in action during a training session at the London Aquatics Centre. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty ImagesTom Daley of Great Britain in action during a training session at the London Aquatics Centre. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The dry dive area is the biggest in the UK and is fitted out amazingly well and my new coach Jane is absolutely fantastic and Im excited about working with her.

The beginning of the year, just before the competition season was the perfect time to move.

Im not too busy yet and it is going to ramp in the next couple of months but right now I think it is a time I can change things up and keep them fresh.

It was a massive move, I had to leave my old coach Andy and I had to find the right facility and the right set-up and I have found that.

I love competing, it is what I do. It is exciting, there is a lot of hard work to put in before those, Im hoping that it will be an injury-free year because last year was a nightmare for injuries.

With the National Championships and the World Series to come this year, Daley has a busy 12 months ahead as he looks to start his long build-up process to Rio, with the move to London providing him with the stimulus to focus on medalling in Brazil.

He said: It is always tough the year after the Olympics, getting back into things.

Your motivation is obviously down because you have four years to go and you have other things to think about. It has been tough but the move to London has given me the extra motivational kick I needed to get going for Rio.

Divers usually peak between the ages of 22 and 24. I will be 22 at Rio so hopefully, barring injuries, I will be okay for Rio 2016. It is always in my head because that is what people are working towards but there are so many different things before that.

Daley has also been in the public eye away from the pool over the past year, announcing in December that he was in a relationship with a man and also appearing on ITV show Splash!

The show is currently airing its second series and, although Daley is enjoying his involvement, he does not let it impact on his own diving ambitions.

The great thing about Splash is that the TV set is a diving pool so Jane comes with me every weekend and we fit in a training session on the Saturdays with my breaks from rehearsal, he added.

Diving is my number one priority but Splash is something I find so much fun, I enjoy doing it and it isnt strenuous at all.

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