The stage is set, after a four year absence, for the World Series to return to London’s iconic Aquatics Centre for the fifth and final leg of the 2019 FINA/CNSG Diving World Series.
With the previous four legs taking place across the globe in Japan, China, Canada and Russia, all eyes are now on London, where the series winners will be decided in what is set to be a show stopping finale.
The British camp is full of momentum and motivation after recent successes in Montreal and Kazan, most notably Tom Daley and Jack Laugher claiming golds in the Men’s 10m Platform and Men’s 3m Springboard respectively. After Kazan last weekend, both men now sit top of the pile heading into the deciding round.
Daley returns to his home pool in search of more silverware, as he looks to wrap up one of his most successful World Series campaigns to date; commenting at the press conference on the eve of the event the reigning World champion said:
“The World Series for me this year has been great one. After my break last year and the arrival my son Robbie, I’ve rediscovered my love of the sport again and I think that has shone through in my diving and results.
“This might be my best World Series yet and I’m hoping I can finish well in front of a vocal home crowd. I love this venue [London Aquatics Centre], I have loads great memories from it and I have the bonus of training here every day.”
For Olympic champion Jack Laugher MBE, Kazan was big step forward, as he struck gold for the first time on the world circuit this year. Naturally, he is full of confidence as he prepares to compete on home soil again.
“I can’t wait for the action to get underway now. I was really pleased to win gold last weekend in Kazan and feel things are really starting to come together at the right time. Competing in London is always special, especially having won gold and silver at the European Championships in this venue in 2016."
Reflecting on how the GB divers have performed on the international stage in 2019 so far, British Diving National Performance Director, Alexei Evangulov, added:
“Our athletes have continued to demonstrate why we are one of the best diving nations in the world. The team have dived consistently well across the previous legs, with some great results and also very encouraging progression for those that have made their debuts at this level of competition.
“This year we have new synchro partnerships in Jack Laugher and Dan Goodfellow, and also Tom Daley and Matty Lee; both pairs have proved that we made the right decisions last autumn.
“Hosting the World Series in the UK gives our divers an excellent international competition opportunity, in front of a home crowd, as we continue our preparations towards Gwangju and Tokyo 2020.”
Also present at the press conference were international stars Jennifer Abel and Hao Yang, both of whom have been in great form in recent weeks. Abel used all of her experience in Russia to turn a shaky start into individual gold from the 3m Springboard, a performance she was naturally delighted with.
“I’m pretty happy about my year so far and last week I got to win my first gold medal of the year in Kazan, so I was pretty excited about that, especially before this week, which brings back good memories for me. I got my Olympic medal here in London seven years ago so I’m really happy to be back here and pretty excited to contend this week.
Having competed in front of a home crowd in Montreal last month, Abel was asked what advice she had for the Brits who would be dealing with a similarly vocal London crowd.
“The World Series in Montreal was very good – the pool was packed and the energy the crowd can bring for you as a diver is amazing. It’s so nice to hear people cheering when you’re under the water, so my biggest advice is to take that positive energy and bring that energy to your dives.”
Another Kazan success story was China’s Hao Yang, who scored double gold in the Men’s 10m and Men’s 10m Synchro. The two time World Champion will be looking to further boost his ranking in the overall series, where he currently lies fifth, commenting:
“I hope I can perform well in London as well – I have competed here once before in 2015 and the venue is good. It won’t be easy but I’m looking forward to it.”
action begins in earnest at noon on Friday 17th May, with the
Women’s 10m Synchro the first evet of the weekend, followed by the Men’s 10m
Synchro featuring Tom Daley and Matty Lee.
Results and start lists can be found by clicking here
Tickets for all sessions are available on the door throughout the weekend – please note tickets are no longer available online.
For more details about the London leg of the of the FINA/CNSG Diving World Series 2019 click here to visit our event hub.