Tom Daley replaces 'demon dive' with 'risky firework' routine

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Rio
Daley reveals new 'firework' dive

Tom Daley has dropped his "demon dive" for a dive that no-one has ever attempted in competition in a bid to win Olympic gold in 2016.

The Briton, 20, admits taking on the new routine, comprising 3.5 somersaults with one twist, is a gamble.

"Changing is a risky decision, but you have to take risks if you want to win Olympic medals," he told BBC Sport.

Daley developed trouble with his "demon dive" at the 2012 Olympics, eventually seeking therapy in a bid to master it.

He went on to claim bronze in London but struggled with the dive again at the 2013 Worlds, admitting the backwards 2.5 somersault with 2.5 twists routine in the piked position "terrified" him.

Daley will perform his new dive in the 10m platform at the British National Championships in Plymouth in February as part of his preparations for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

He added: "Lots of people who have seen the dive have told me it's like a little firework because you don't expect it.

"It just happens at the end - a massive twist. So hopefully instead of the demon dive I'll have a firework dive instead.

"It's a weight off my shoulders now and even my other dives are going better than they were before, so I believe I can win Olympic gold in Rio."

Tom Daley selfie in Rio
The 20-year-old Briton has been enjoying the chance to take in the vibrant sights of Rio this year

In a wide-ranging interview at the Olympic diving venue in Rio, Daley also told BBC Sport he is "happier" since revealing publicly he is in a relationship with another man.

"The support has been amazing and it's made me happy to be who I wanted to be," said the 2009 World Champion.

"It makes it easier to train when you're positive and that all means I'll dive better and compete better."

Daley on "great" Rio Olympic diving venue
"To be able to train here and visualise the crowd in the stands should help me a lot. The pool needs a lick of paint and a few little changes, but it's generally great and knowing how much the whole of Brazil loves sport, these are going to be massive Olympic Games!"

Daley finished fourth alongside now retired diver Peter Waterfield in the 10m synchronised event at the London Olympics and won silver with James Denny at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

However, they are unlikely to pair up again in the near future as Denny, 21, is currently unable to perform dives to the same degree of difficulty as Daley.

Tom Daley in training
Daley, a two-time European Championships 10m platform winner, has trained in the Rio Olympic pool

"If I do synchro, I want to do it so I can go and win Olympic medals and not just make up the numbers," said Daley.

"It depends if anyone does come up through the ranks, but at the moment I'm not doing it."

Daley also ruled out the possibility of competing in the new mixed-gender synchronised competition, which will be launched at this summer's World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Tom Daley in training
The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist also has three Commonwealth Games gold medals to his name

"It's going to be interesting to see how it works because at the moment the leading men do harder dives than the women so I can only see it working if junior men team up with senior women," he said.

"It'll be exciting to watch, but until it becomes an Olympic sport I'll be focusing on my new dive and individual [event]."

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