British Diving has today announced a 15-strong team that will travel to the Japanese capital for the FINA Diving World Cup next month (18th – 23rd April).
Taking place inside the Tokyo 2020 aquatics venue, the event will act as the perfect dress rehearsal for Britain’s diving talent, with a handful of Olympic qualification slots still up for grabs.
Headlining the team are the usual marquee names of Tom Daley and Jack Laugher – but they are joined by a plethora of young talent looking to secure a return ticket to Tokyo for the Games themselves in four months’ time.
Whilst Great Britain has qualified a pair of spots in most disciplines, thanks to strong performances at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, there are still single spots up for grabs in the Women’s 3m Springboard and 3m Synchro, as well as the Women’s 10m Platform and 10m Synchro events.
British champion James Heatly and Rio 2016 medallist Dan Goodfellow will contest the Men’s 3m Springboard event, vying for the final Olympic berth in that discipline, whilst rising star and 2020 British champion Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix will line up in the Women’s 10m Platform event – as will European medallist Robyn Birch.
Meanwhile, the likes of Daley, Laugher and Grace Reid will all focus on the synchro events alongside their respective partners, given they have already secured qualification spots, with a view not only to top-level performances but also getting competition experience in the Olympic venue.
Postponed from its original date of 21st-26th April 2020, the biennial FINA Diving World Cup, which typically doubles up as the test event in Olympic years, will now run from 18th-23rd April 2021. The 2018 edition of this event saw City of Leeds star Laugher bag a brace of medals in the Men’s 3m and Men’s 3m Synchro – and he will be hoping for a similar level of success when he resumes competitive action for the first time in 14 months.
Of the team named, British Diving’s Performance Director, Alexei Evangulov, said:
“I’m delighted to name such a strong British team for the World Cup. This is such a key competition for us, with qualification still up for grabs in certain events and having been out of competition for so long. I am, however, very confident in our preparations. Last year, I was so impressed with how hard our divers worked when they were out of the water and they came back in better shape than me and my coaches could have imagined.
“It will also be very important to experience the venue in Japan, and how the organisers manage COVID protocols at what is usually an extremely busy event. This will be especially important during the warm up sessions, and will be an extremely valuable experience for our divers.
“For now though, we must really focus on being in our best shape for the World Cup, European Championships and Olympic Games.”
Great Britain team for the 2021 FINA Diving World Cup:
James Heatly - 3m
Daniel Goodfellow - 3m, 3m Synchro
Jack Laugher - 3m Synchro
Matthew Dixon - 10m
Noah Williams – 10m
Tom Daley - 10m Synchro
Matty Lee - 10m Synchro
Maria Papworth - 3m
Scarlett Mew-Jensen - 3m
Grace Reid - 3m Synchro
Katherine Torrance - 3m Synchro
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix - 10m (10m Synchro reserve)
Robyn Birch - 10m
Lois Toulson - 10m Synchro
Eden Cheng - 10m Synchro