Tom Daley: World Championships 'key' to Olympic qualification

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Kazan
Tom Daley
Tom Daley trained at the Rio Olympic diving venue in early 2015 and believes he can better his bronze from London come the 2016 Games
2015 World Aquatics Championships
Venue: Kazan, Russia. Dates: 24 July-2 August (diving); 2-9 August (swimming)
Coverage: All diving finals live on BBC Sport website & connected TV, with 10m platform final (3 August 17:20-18:45 BST) live on BBC Two.

Diver Tom Daley hopes to take a step towards securing his place at the 2016 Rio Olympics at the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, Russia.

The Olympic bronze medallist will gain Britain a guaranteed berth in Brazil by reaching the 10m platform final.

Daley leads a nine-strong GB diving team who compete from 24 July-2 August.

"The more places we qualify in Kazan, the less pressure we'll have at the 2016 World Cup, which is the next chance for us to qualify," said Daley.

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"Competing at the World Championships a year out from Rio is a key moment for all of the British divers."

The English Commonwealth champion claimed his only world title back in 2009, with his results at the 2011 and 2013 events affected by the death of his father and a triceps injury respectively.

However, he heads into Kazan 2015 "fitter and stronger" than ever having won six World Series medals this season, including a spectacular gold in London.

"I can't wait to get out there," said Daley. "Winning medals earlier in the season gives me confidence."

Another in-form diver is Jack Laugher who will compete individually and alongside Chris Mears in the 3m springboard events.

The double Commonwealth champion won the overall 3m springboard 2015 World Series crown after claiming three breakthrough titles.

Olympic diving qualification explained:
128 divers will qualify for Rio 2016 (64 men & 64 women).
There are places for eight nations in synchronised competitions. The hosts are guaranteed one place and the three world medallists each take a place. The remaining four spots are awarded at the Rio Diving World Cup in early 2016.
The top-12 divers in each of the individual events at the Kazan World Championships will qualify Olympic berths for their nation.
The winner of each event at continental championships (i.e. European Championships) in early 2016 will secure berths, with remaining positions attained at the Rio Diving World Cup ahead of the Olympics.

"I knew I had it in me to win gold medals, but it was about getting consistency and confidence in my new dives," said Laugher.

"I know that I have what it takes to really challenge in Kazan."

While divers competing in individual events must achieve a top-12 finish to attain their nation a berth in Brazil, synchronised pairs must claim a medal to be guaranteed Olympic spots.

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World Series winners Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow represent GB's strongest prospect of synchronised success from 10m, while youngsters Matty Lee and James Denny will make their World Championship debuts in Russia.

Commonwealth champions Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg will also compete in the 3m individual and synchronised events.

"Getting that Olympic quota place is what we are all thinking about," said Couch.

Athletes in synchronised competitions will have a second chance to achieve Rio Olympic qualificationexternal-link places at the Diving World Cup in Rio in early 2016, while nations will also be able to attain places for a second diver in individual events.

British Diving team - Kazan 2015:
Men: Tom Daley (10m individual) James Denny (10m synchronised) Matty Lee (10m synchronised), Jack Laugher (3m individual & synchronised), Chris Mears (3m individual & synchronised).
Women: Sarah Barrow (10m individual & synchronised), Tonia Couch (3m individual & synchronised), Alicia Blagg (3m individual & synchronised), Rebecca Gallantree (3m individual & synchronised).

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