Daley's diving disappointment
Britain's teenage diver Tom Daley and partner Blake Aldridge finished in last place in the men's synchronised platform diving as China took another gold.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 11/08/08 12:17pm
Britain's teenage diver Tom Daley and partner Blake Aldridge finished in eighth and last place in the men's synchronised 10m platform competition inside the Water Cube, where China won their expected gold.
The Chinese pair of Yue Lin and Liang Huo finished with a score of 468.18 to earn another gold medal for the hosts, finishing ahead of Germany's Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein in second with Russia's Gleb Galperin and Dmitriy Dobroskok winning bronze.
Daley, 14, and his partner Aldridge failed to dive to their full potential in the final, with decent synchronisation but poor entry into the water spoiling their chances.
It was a disappointment for Daley's Olympic fairytale, but the experience should stand the youngster in good stead for his individual campaign, and especially for the next Games in London in four years' time.
The British pair scored 52.80 for their first of six dives, with their forward one-and-a-half somersault slotting them in nicely in third place alongside Australia and Germany, as China took an early lead from Russia in their expected battle for gold.
A drop down to sixth then followed for the Brits as their inward one-and-a-half somersault with pike only got them 50.40 for a total of 103.2, and they were leapfrogged by the American pair.
Yue and Huo extended their advantage, as the teams completed their prescribed program and entered their free section when they could mix it up with some more complex moves.
Daley and Aldridge opted for an inward three-and-a-half somersault with tuck but the execution was not quite there and they dropped back down to eighth and last place, and 17 points outside the medal places.
The best score of the final as yet for the Brits came with their backwards three-and-a-half somersault with tuck earning them 75.24 points as they pushed up ahead of Cuba.
China where still looking impressive with good synchronisation and hardly making a splash on entry, and they continued to lead from Russia and the USA.
The British pair's penultimate dive then saw them top their best score, with 77.52 awarded for a reverse three-and-a-half somersault with tuck, technically their most difficult attempt of the final.
Britain's final dive again saw them improve points-wise, but it was not enough to get above Cuba and Daley and Aldridge had to endure a last-place finish in the final.
It was far from China's best dive in the final round, but they got away with it to claim the expected gold medal with a total of 468.18, while Germany (450.42) came in to finish second and Russia just about pinched the bronze by a whisker from Australia.
"We obviously didn't dive very well, as you could probably tell. It was disappointing but it was a great experience," said Daley.
"I really enjoyed myself and had so much fun out there. That is all you can ask for getting the experience of it.
"We prepared like a normal competition and we treated it like a normal competition. It was just the fact it wasn't our day today, we just had a bad day.
"We put 100 per cent effort into every dive we did we just didn't pull it off.
"All the synchro was really good it was just a matter of the dives. If we had posted our personal best of 446 that would have got us fourth."
Daley will now compete in the 10m platform individual but for Aldridge his
Olympics is over.