Prior to the event, Waterfield had been suffering with illness, reporting flu like symptoms before deciding to compete at the last minute. Hosts China won the event with Germany finishing second.
Daley and Waterfield are still a relatively new partnership on the diving circuit, competing together for the first time in January where they won the National Cup on their debut. They followed this up with a win at the Diving World series in Sheffield in April. Their early success has not been emulated of late with Daley withdrawing from the National Championships due to the well publicised death of his father and the lack of training in the lead up to the World Championships due to Waterfield’s illness.
It was widely expected that the duo would not compete in the days before the event but Waterfield’s last minute decision meant the pair took to the diving board. However, a disappointing finish has raised concerns about how the partnership will develop before the London 2012 Olympics next year where they are tipped to be medal hopefuls.
Daley will not want a repeat of the fortunes he suffered in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics where he and partner at the time Blake Aldridge finished 8th. Although it was not expected that Daley would win at the age of 14, the well-publicised fall out with Aldridge that followed has led to Daley’s eventual pairing with Waterfield. With both divers individually challenging for medals and Waterfield’s experience the pair have been highlighted as the one’s to beat in their category.
However, following their placing at the Fina World Championships their supporters will hope they manage to up their performance in order to challenge their Chinese and German competitors. Waterfield has even admitted himself that the pair are still learning about each other and the event despite their victories in their early competitions together.
Undoubtedly, the duo will want to perform to their full potential wherever they compete but the chance of winning a medal on home soil in 2012 adds extra pressure to their campaign. Many UK spectators will be hoping to see the British divers battle strongly against the likes of the Chinese divers and be serious contenders for a top three finish. Not only is this something they hope to achieve together but also Daley and Waterfield will be competing against each other in the 10m individual platform where they have both succeeded before.
Not only have the recent competitions provided a stage for Daley and Waterfield to develop their partnership on, their weekend misfortune has also provided them a wake up call for next summer’s Olympic Games where they will want to be at their peak in order fulfil their potential… and the expectations of the watching nation.