Tom Daley: Olympic diver 'overwhelmed' by support

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Tom Daley says he is 'overwhelmed' by public support

Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley says he has been "overwhelmed" by the support shown since announcing he is in a relationship with a man.

Daley, 19, revealed his relationship in an online video last month.

"The support from the public and the media and everyone has been overwhelming," he told BBC Sport.

"It's been so positive and it's put me in a great place and right now I couldn't be happier. Hopefully 2014 is going to be a good year."

The two-time Commonwealth champion has left his long-term base in Plymouth and will train at the London Aquatics Centre through to the Rio Olympics in 2016.

"Diving is now my number-one focus and that's the thing that it always has been, and now I feel like I can just go and be with Jane [Figueiredo, his new coach] and work towards getting a gold medal in Rio," he said.

Daley admits leaving Plymouth and his coach Andy Banks was a difficult decision but says it was something he has been considering since before last summer's World Championships - where he finished sixth.

"It was sad to leave," he said. "But I'm 19 years old, I've finished my A-levels - most people would go to university but I've decided to spread my wings a little bit.

"Every athlete in an Olympic cycle needs to experiment with different things and it's about trying it out and keeping it fresh."

Figueiredo, who worked with the British divers at the 1996 Atlanta Games and has coached Russian divers to six Olympic medals, says Daley has the potential to reach new heights in the sport.

"There are some things technically we need to improve on but that's just me being a critical coach. He is a massive talent," she told BBC Sport.

"Having worked with the Russian girls, I couldn't think of anything more exhilarating or more fun than to work with someone who takes diving to a whole new level - we are shooting for that gold."

With Daley's former 10m synchronised diving partner Peter Waterfield retiring last year, he is searching a for replacement in a bid to defend the two Commonwealth titles he secured at the Delhi Games in 2010.

Seventeen-year-old Daniel Goodfellow is currently the leading candidate.

"I'll be doing the 3m synchro event at the nationals with Dan and then maybe, leading into the Commonwealths, we can look at the 10m," Daley said.

"Dan is still quite young and needs to learn another dive, but we have done a few tests from five metres and it is looking good."

Daley will compete at the London for the first time since the 2012 Olympics at the World Cup Diving event from 25-27 April.