Daley secures first 2014 title in Southend
Tom Daley won his first title of the season with gold in the 10m Platform at the 2014 British Gas National Cup in Southend.
The Olympic bronze medallist qualified first from the prelims on 416.65 before upping his game to score 471.45 in the final ahead of British silver medallist James Denny (405.75) and European junior silver medallist Matty Lee (400.55).
The 19-year old saved his best for the last dive of the competition, receiving 9.5s for his reverse 3 1/2 somersaults with tuck to score 96.9 and secure his first British Gas National Cup title, having won silver on his two previous attempts in 2010 and 2011.
Daley has relocated to train at London Aquatics Centre this season, working with a new coach in Jane Figueiredo.
And while he admitted there was room for improvement, particularly with his back 2 1/2 somersaults, 2 1/2 twists piked which he dropped for 43.2 points, the 19-year old insisted it was an encouraging start to his new working relationship.
“It’s not a bad start to the season,” said Daley. “I’ve been working on so many new things – a new programme, new strength and conditioning workout and everything is in the early phases at the moment.
“I’m breaking down my dives and working towards the bigger picture which is Commonwealth Games so I’ll carry on with that in training now.
“The twister is my demon dive at the moment and it’s the one I need the most work on. If it doesn’t start to feel more comfortable, maybe I’ll think about trying a different dive.”
In the only other event on the final day in Southend, four-time British champion Rebecca Gallantree won gold in the 3m Springboard.
Having eased through qualification on 285.85, the World Cup finalist improved to 317.10 for the final, scoring more than 60 for four of her five dives.
Having won 3m Synchro bronze at last year’s European Championships with City of Leeds teammate Alicia Blagg, Gallantree admitted further international progress in the synchronised events remained her ultimate priority.
But after such a steady performance to start the season, the 29-year old was adamant she also had aspirations in the individual event.
“I’m happy with that final performance because I haven’t had the best preparation with injuries over the past couple of months,” said Gallantree.
“I’m really pleased with that score as well although while I have been able to train, I have been diving quite well.
“My priority this season is synchro. I would like to be out there competing individually as well but that will be down to trials later in the season and the manager’s decision.”
British 10m Platform bronze medallist Georgia Ward showed her versatility to scoop silver on 274.80 while 15-year old European Junior silver medallist Lydia Rosenthall claimed bronze on 269.60.