Following on from his Men's 10m Synchro triumph on the opening day of competition, three-time Olympian Tom Daley added individual success by taking gold from the 10m platform in Tokyo.
The 2009 and 2017 world champion lined up as one of the favourites to top the podium, and with scores of over 500 points in both the preliminary and semi-final stages under his belt, Daley (Dive London) started off his finals’ dive list with a stunning Reverse 3½ Somersaults Tuck (307C) to take pole position.
With the Tokyo Aquatics Centre the venue that will also host this summer’s Games, double Olympic bronze medallist Daley continued to build positive experiences to return to the very same boards with in three months’ time, producing a solid execution of his dives through to the end of the fourth round.
Such is the standard that Daley sets, a lower mark from the judges on his highest degree of difficulty dive (109C: Forward 4½ Somersaults Tuck) marginally opened the door for Mexico’s Willars Valdez as the pair sat less than four points apart ahead of the sixth and final competition dive. That pressure, however, was brushed aside, with Daley’s Back 3½ Somersaults Pike (207B) – arguably the dive of the meet - putting his victory beyond doubt with a score of 104.40, to conclude on an overall tally of 541.70, ahead of Willars Valdez (MEX) and Weins (CAN) on the podium.
Of his efforts, Daley said:
"I'm really happy with how everything went today, there's still a few little things I'd like to work on but really happy to get back into competition, dust off the cobwebs and dive in the Olympic pool.
"The pool is great, the facilities are awesome and Japan have done an amazing job at following COVID protocols to make the event happen in the first place. It's slightly different to what we're used to when we are away but I'm extremely grateful to have the chance to compete and I'm very much excited about heading to the European Championships next week before hopefully returning here in July."
Plymouth’s Matthew Dixon was also back in competition for the first time since the FINA Grand Prix in Rostock, Germany in February 2020 and put in an encouraging performance to finish sixth in the 10m Platform, a Reverse 3½ Somersaults Tuck (307C) the pick of his programme coming in the fourth round.
Earlier on Tuesday, Scarlett Mew Jensen (Dive London) led the charge for Britain in the Women’s 3m Springboard event, with a seventh-place finish her best performance at a top-tier FINA competition to date.
The David Jenkins-coached diver showed progression in her overall points tally throughout the qualifying rounds, and come the final, particularly impressed on her Back 2½ Somersaults Pike (205B) - scoring 69.00 points to equal the second-best scoring effort from any finalist in the third round, which showed a great deal of maturity from the 19-year-old to recompose a dive that caused her trouble in the semi-finals.
Commenting on her Diving World Cup, Mew Jensen said:
"It's been so incredible to be back in a competition environment and to see all the familiar and new faces from around the world.
"I really only came to Tokyo for one job which was to qualify and get GB the last Olympic spot on the 3m, so to end my World Cup experience being a finalist has exceeded my expectations and given me huge confidence going forwards."
Maria Papworth Burrel (Dive London) additionally continued to build her experience on the world stage, with the 2020 British 3m Springboard champion placing 16th in the semi-finals. The results of Mew Jensen and Papworth Burrel both met the criteria to provide Team GB selectors with the second spot in the Women’s 3m Springboard for this summer’s Games.
Elsewhere, Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (Crystal Palace) ensured Team GB of the final possible quota place that was still to be acquired across the Olympic diving programme in reaching the semi-finals of the Women’s 10m Platform. The 2020 BBC Young Sports Personality of the year winner’s competition continues on Wednesday morning (8am BST) with a place in the top 12 required to progress to the final (10am BST).
Compatriot Robyn Birch, however, was unfortunately unable to complete the preliminaries stage, withdrawing after a painful landing on her second round dive.