Briton Tom Daley misses out on individual diving medal

By Nick HopeBBC Sport in Sheffield

World champion Tom Daley narrowly missed out on collecting his second medal of the Fina Diving World Series in Sheffield after finishing fourth.

The 16-year-old won gold alongside Pete Waterfield in the 10m synchronised event on day one, but could not repeat that success in the 10m individual.

Qui Bo of China took the victory with a score of 586.55, which was his third World Series title in a row.

Earlier, Daley's fellow Briton Waterfield went out in the semi-finals.

Daley looked impressive in his opening two dives, but with his strongest opponents Qui Bo and Liang Huo of China producing near flawless displays, the teenager's poor entry in the 'armstand back triple somersault' routine cost him the chance of attaining a podium place.

"The way the Chinese are diving they are so far ahead of everyone at the moment, they are like machines, they are definitely the ones to watch ahead of London 2012," Daley told BBC Sport afterwards.

"It's a great experience to have everyone supporting me here, it's a sell-out crowd, and I hope it will be the same in London, it really lifts you and makes you dive to the best of your ability.

"The new dives are coming on, I just have to keep working hard and try my best and put as much pressure on the Chinese as I can because they are so far ahead of everyone else at the moment."

Bo's countryman and 10m synchro Olympic champion Liang Huo, secured silver with a score of 567.10, while the United States' David Boudia was third (534.55), less than 30 points ahead of Daley's total of 507.35.

Waterfield, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist was kept late by drugs-testers on Friday night, however he did not use it as an excuse for his exit at the semi-final stage.

"I felt pretty good it just didn't come off today," said Waterfield.

"I did have to stay late, I wasn't in bed until after 11 and I didn't have any dinner, but it's one of those things that happens, it's the same for everyone."

"Off the board my jumping and getting into shape felt good, but I'm just not getting the ends in, which is where it counts," Waterfield told BBC Sport.

The men's 3m synchronised event marked the return of Beijing Olympian Ben Swain alongside Nick Robinson-Baker, for the first time since the World Championships in Rome in 2009.

Swain tore his anterior cruciate ligament in training early in 2010, with Chris Mears filling in ever since.

The Robinson-Baker and Mears partnership narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games where they finished forth, but they claimed gold at the British National Cup in February and were fifth at the World Series event in Moscow earlier this year.

So the decision to change things around was a surprise at this stage of the season was a surprise to some.

Robinson-Baker and Swain finished seventh in the final with a score of 395.88 and were pleased just to be back competing.

"We've only had three months back together in training (after 13 months apart), but it's amazing to have my partner back," said Robinson-Baker.

"Returning from injury is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I've spent so long with the physio's and in the gym so to get back to competing is great," Swain told BBC Sport.

"Every day in training is about pain management in the knee, today was the first time it hasn't hurt, but it was probably the adrenaline that got me through.

"It wasn't the best of performances, but I gave it my best and I have to be fairly pleased with the result," concluded Swain.

China's World number one pairing of Kai Qin & Yutong Luo took the gold with a score of 460.23, with Mexico's Yahel Castillo and Daniel Islas second and the USA in third.

Monique Gladding was an obvious absentee from the women's 10m synchro event as she continues her recovery from a horror head injury sustained in Russia in February, however a host of other injuries amongst British divers saw Rebecca Gallantree and 16-year-old Megan Sylvester put together in a make-shift pairing.

It was not only their first competition, but only their third session together.

They began well with impressive dives in the opening two rounds, before the more experienced pairings established control of the event.

Gallantree and Sylvester finished fifth out of five, whilst Chinese duo Ruolin Chen and Heo Wang lived up to their billing as favourites by taking home the gold.

"Megan stepped in very last minute and we've only been training for three days, but it was really good and we had a lot of fun together, said Gallantree.

The were no home-nation divers in the women's 3m springboard final after Rebecca Gallantree was eliminated at the semi-final stage, but the considerable Chinese crowd were able to cheer on two further medals for their athletes as world number one Zi Hi attained an impressive 396.95 to claim gold, with Beijing Olympic champion Minxia Wu second. Canada's Jennifer Abel taking home the bronze.

The divers now move on to Mexico for the forth and final round of the World Series, which takes place 22-23 April.