Tom Daley excited by national event in Plymouth this weekend
TOM DALEY is excited at the prospect of making a splash in front of his home-town fans when Plymouth's Life Centre plays host to the British Gas Diving Championships this weekend.
Daley will be trading a peak-time TV audience of more than six million for his Splash! reality diving series for the championships at the city's fabulous multi-sports venue.
Broadcasters ITV have been so delighted with the viewers' overwhelming endorsement for Splash! that they have booked teenager Daley for a second series which will be filmed later this year.
Olympic bronze-medal winner Daley does not see this weekend as down-sizing, but as helping Plymouth Diving celebrate holding the 'biggest diving event in its history'.
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Daley, despite his much-admired coolness under fire, admitted he will be nervous headlining a major competition in front of his fellow Plymothians.
Reigning European 10m platform champion Daley is certain to be the centre of attention at the nationals which are being held in the city for the first time.
Daley will be defending his 10m platform crown and his international reputation at the already sold-out three-day tournament which kicks-off tomorrow.
The London Olympic Games poster boy competes on Sunday and admitted he is 'there to be shot at' by the impressive number of fast-improving male divers, all gunning for the British number one.
For once, the pretenders to the throne have been handed a smidgen of hope, as Daley has been struggling with a heavy cold all week.
Will the bug put him out of the running for the nationals? Not a chance, said the 18-year-old.
Daley told Herald Sport: "I wouldn't miss the British Championships at our place for the world – it's going to be an amazing experience.
"It's the biggest diving event Plymouth has ever held and something the club has been desperate to put on for a long, long time.
"Now, we've got a fantastic facility and it's going to be a thrill for me and my team-mates that Plymouth will be the focus of attention nationwide over the next three days.
"It's going to be an exciting meeting and I expect I'll be nervous, too, as it is at home."
Daley added: "I'm going into the championships feeling under the weather, but there's no way I'm not going to compete.
"I've had a sore throat and a cough as a lot of people have had, but I'll be poolside over all three days and, of course, am looking forward to competing on Sunday.
"I'm just doing the individual platform and, hopefully, I can compete well as I know there are a number of very good young British divers attending.
"There's my former synchro partner Max Brick and also Leeds' James Denny, who are all really good athletes.
"The Plymouth public will be able to see another up-and-coming diver, Daniel Goodfellow who (GB diving chief) Alexei Evangulov is hoping will be a future synchro partner for me.
"None of those guys are going to want to make it easy for me.
"I'll need to be on my mettle. I'll be up for the challenge as I try to be for every tournament I enter."