Thirteen and a Gold Medal

At 5ft 2in and 7st 7lb, 13 year old Tom Daley was a diminutive stick of dynamite among much older and bigger rivals. On average nine years younger, seven inches shorter and 40lb lighter than the other 11 finalists in the ten-metre platform final, Daley outperformed the world champion and the World Cup winner to claim an historic victory four months before he heads to Beijing as the youngest member of the Britain Olympic team and now the youngest European diving champion on record. “It’s amazing to be European champion ahead of that kind of field,” Daley said. “It’s totally unexpected. It’s thrilling, like being on a theme-park ride.” As hysteria built around him in the pool last night, Daley remained calm, just as he had in the competition. In contrast to his unsettled opponents, he looked unruffled throughout his six dives. How? “There’s a lot of work gone into it back home,” he said. “That gives you confidence. Daley will return to school at Eggbuckland Community College, Plymouth, tomorrow. “Thomas learnt a reverse 3 only a month ago. That’s incredible for a 13-year-old. He got scores of ten for it at the World Cup last month. He’s amazing.”


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