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Daley pessimistic over chances of gold
1:46pm Saturday 11th August 2012 in Sport
Tom Daley believes bronze is the best he can hope for after qualifying for tonight's men's 10-metre platform final.
Daley catapulted himself back into medal contention, and put a horror first round behind him, to finish fourth in this morning's semi-final.
But while the former world champion improved markedly he was still out of reach of Chinese duo Qiu Bo and Lin Yue who pieced together another masterclass inside the Aquatics Centre.
Qiu, who stole away Daley's world title 12 months ago, qualified in first place after twice attracting 10s in a score of 563.55.
Compatriot Lin also notched a 10 as he finished 21.75 points further back and 20.70 up on of Daley.
All scores will be wiped for tonight's final - pushed back to 8.30pm so as not to clash with affairs at the nearby Olympic Stadium - but even then Daley fears he has a tough task to overhaul the Chinese.
''With the men's platform bronze is almost gold and then anything above that is platinum and beyond,'' Daley said.
''It's going to be very tough but in diving you just don't know what is going to happen.
''The Chinese have been very consistent and they seem to be pretty unstoppable at the minute.
''We'll have to see what happens tonight.''
Daley was, at least, able to speak with more reassurance after the shock of his near-exit in the first round less than 12 hours previously that saw his synchro partner Pete Waterfield exit the competition.
The Plymouth diver scraped through in 15th but looked more authoritative this morning - albeit without the big-scoring leap that he will surely need to medal tonight.
Most notably he grabbed 8.5s for his back three-and-a-half somersault, the dive he completely bombed last night.
''It was strange last night - I don't ever do them like that,'' he said.
''That's what was frustrating, but this morning in training it was good.
''It's a confidence boost to know that I can actually do it going into the final.''
The eyes of the host nation are set to fall on Daley this evening and while his hopes of swelling Britain's gold-medal haul yet further seem remote, the teenager did still leave plenty of points in the pool.
He was 40 points shy of his personal best 565.05 - set when he reclaimed his European title in May - and with Qiu failing to surpass that yet Daley hopes to apply more pressure in front of a roaring 17,500 home support.
''There were a lot of things in there that could have gone a lot better,'' he said.
''For example my back twist - I think I scored something like 80 on it but I can get at least another 12 points on that.
''With inward that was steady and armstand was a bit slow - I can get 10 points on that.
''The front I could get 15 maybe 20 points on that so there are still a lot of improvements that can be made. It's just whether I can do it on the night.''