Swimming boss not happy with Tom Daley

British Swimming chief executive warns diving sensation of plunging too early into a TV career if he is to win gold.
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2013 12:46
Of late the cameras have been on British diver Tom Daley for very different reasons [GETTY]

British teenage diving sensation Tom Daley has once again been told to spend more time training and reduce his broadcast and commercial commitments in a bid to win a maiden Olympic gold medal.

Daley is currently involved in a new reality television show, "Splash!", which sees celebrities train to dive. One participant is Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, who was the first Briton to represent his country at ski-jumping at the Winter Olympics.

But British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes urged 18-year-old Daley to wait until the end of his competitive career before getting involved in such programmes, citing the example of Olympic ice dance greats Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

"Tom is an incredibly talented young man but he's yet to achieve his full potential and it's only going to get harder to achieve that Olympic gold medal as he gets older," Sparkes was quoted as saying in Tuesday's Daily Mail newspaper.

"You can rest assured the next Chinese diving superstar will not have such distractions from training"

British swimming chief exec, David Sparkes

"You can rest assured the next Chinese diving superstar will not have such distractions from training.

"He should look at the example of skaters Torvill and Dean who waited until the end of their competitive careers before doing such programmes. I'm concerned Tom is putting the cart before the horse and I've expressed those concerns to his agent."

Torvill and Dean currently coach celebrities on the "Dancing on Ice" competition for celebrities on Britain's commercial ITV channel.

Daley, world champion in 2009, won bronze in the 10 metre platform event at last year's Olympics, having received warnings beforehand from British diving performance chief Alexei Evangulov to cut down on his high-profile work away 
from the pool.

David Boudia of the United States won gold, with China's Qiu Bo taking the silver medal.

In September last year, the photogenic Daley, who became a regular on celebrity guest lists, said he would jump at the chance of a television or film career.

Daley's agent Jamie Cunningham insisted British Swimming had been given advance notice of "Splash!" and that the show - described by The Guardian newspaper this week as "so bad it's good" - was not affecting his client's training schedule.

"Whatever people think about the show, Tom has come across incredibly well. We would only agree to such an undertaking at a quiet time of the year," Cunningham said.

"Tom is fully on course to perform at his best at the world championships in the summer having delivered at the Olympic Games and the world juniors that followed, when he helped out British Swimming by competing."


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