Tom Daley: new 'firework' dive impresses ex-mentor Taylor

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Tom Daley
Daley is competing in Plymouth for the first time since moving his training base to London

Diver Tom Daley can challenge for Olympic gold at Rio 2016 after creating the world first 'firework' routine - according to former mentor Leon Taylor.

The 2004 Olympic silver medallist has spent time with Daley as he prepares to debut the dive at the National Championships in Plymouth this weekend.

It is the first change Daley has made to his six diving routines since 2011.

"It's impressive and he already looks to have the consistency, which is what he'll need to win medals," said Taylor.

Daley is competing in the city of his birth for the first time since he switched his training base to London's Olympic Aquatics Centre in early 2014.

Daley reveals new 'firework' dive

The 'firework' 3.5 somersault with one twist routine replaces what had become known as his 'demon' dive - a piked 2.5 somersault, 2.5 twist routine - which Taylor actually invented.

"The interesting thing will be how the judges take to it," Taylor told BBC Sport.

"The judges initially gave me low scores [for the 'demon' dive], as they didn't know what to make of it and were a little confused because it was different."

In addition to Daley, fellow British divers Jack Laugher, Chris Mears, Tonia Couch, Sarah Barrow, Rebecca Gallantree, Alicia Blagg and Hannah Starling impressed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

They will all be in action at the British Championships, which marks the start of a season where Rio 2016 Olympic qualification places can start to be earned.

"This year is another chance for people to shine and get the [Olympic] qualifiers we want," said Taylor, who partnered Peter Waterfield to a 10m synchronised silver in Athens.

"But we don't [want to] clean up, because going into the Olympics with all of that success will bring extra pressure."

The Nationals begin on Friday 20 February and run until Sunday 22 February.

Jack Laugher
Jack Laugher won two Commonwealth titles in 2014 and could challenge for honours at the Rio Olympics