Tom Daley plays down hopes at World Aquatics Championships

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Barcelona
Daley admits fitness concerns

Tom Daley has played down his prospects of challenging for a medal at the World Championships in Barcelona this weekend after recent fitness concerns.

The Briton, who finished third at the 2012 Olympics, suffered a torn triceps muscle in April and only returned to 10m diving earlier this month.

"I can't be expecting too much of myself," Daley, 19, told BBC Sport.

His coach Andy Banks also revealed that the athlete has been suffering from a glandular problem.

After winning London Olympic bronze last summer, Daley claimed two gold medals at the World Junior Championships two months later.

He followed that up with victories at the British Championships in February and Edinburgh World Series event in April, but has missed all subsequent competitions including the European Championships.

"My injury was quite a shock to me and I was a bit deflated," admitted the diver.

"The first thing that came into my head was the Barcelona World Championships. Was I going to get back to fitness by then?

"It's been pretty close to the competition to actually start getting back up onto the 10m board, but I'm just hoping to go out there and do six solid dives."

Daley won gold at the 2009 World Championships in Rome at the age of 15, but believes he would face a difficult challenge to reclaim the title even without his recent problems.

"We've got very strong competitors in the men's 10m event and [reigning world champion] Qiu Bo from China is the favourite by a long stretch," he said.

"There's always another Chinese diver as well, then you've got Olympic champion David Boudia [of the US] and [European silver medallist] Victor Minibaev of Russia."

Daley, who admitted initially struggling to find motivation to continue after his Olympic success, will begin his World Championship campaign on Saturday morning.

The individual 10m semi-finals take place later that day, with the final on Sunday.

His coach Banks said: "Tom has always been one of the best divers - and if he gets it right, he is right up there with the top divers.

"Whether he can do that with the far-from-ideal preparation he has had, only time will tell, but Tom is Tom and will give it 110%."

Daley added: "To be able to get on the podium again would be amazing.

"I have had a rough time with injury and it would make it a year to remember rather than a year to forget."