In what could prove to be the perfect dress rehearsal ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Britain’s star divers have travelled east for their first major international of the year, as the 2019 FINA Diving World Series gets underway in Tokyo this weekend.
With just over 500 days to go until the start of the Olympics, Sagamihara Green Pool will play host to a who’s who of the diving elite as the World Series descends on the Japanese capital for the very first time, with the British team headlined by the likes of Jack Laugher and Tom Daley.
Taking place on the outskirts of the city, the event, which runs from 1-3 March, is the first stop of the five-leg series, which culminates in London from 17-19 May. Before then though, the series will visit Beijing, Montreal and Kazan, with London the final test prior to the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea in July.
Back to this weekend, a strong British squad travelled to Japan on Monday to acclimatise and get used to the diving pool, with full intentions to start their 2019 international campaign with a bang. Whilst the British National Diving Cup in Plymouth at the start of the year was great test of how winter training had fared, the World Series will be a step up and require top drawer performances to get amongst the medals.
Having sat out the second half of the 2018 series, Tom Daley makes a welcome return, and will hope to build on his performances in his hometown in January, where he won the 10m Platform and 10m Synchro alongside new partner Matty Lee. Another new partnership that will be hoping to flourish is Jack Laugher and Dan Goodfellow; that pairing also looked very promising as they won the 3m Synchro in Plymouth.
Sticking with the synchro, Grace Reid and Kat Torrance will go in the 3m event, whilst Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson, the former making her World Series debut, will be hoping to build on great 2018 seasons. Reid will partner Daley in the 3m Mixed Synchro, whilst Toulson and Lee will combine in the platform equivalent.
Jack Laugher will of course start as one of the favourites in the individual 3m Springboard, where he will be joined by the other GB World Series debutant, Ross Haslam.
You can catch all of the action live on FINA TV, whilst there will be updates across the British Swimming social media channels throughout the weekend.
Full Great Britain team:Jack Laugher