Pete Waterfield - Diving

Our local Olympians: Pete Waterfield - Diving

Our local Olympians: Pete Waterfield - Diving

First published in Sport

PETE Waterfield is best known as Tom Daley’s diving partner, but is the most experienced member of the Great Britain team.

The Southampton Diving Academy star will be competing in the individual 10m platform and the synchro alongside Daley, the face of London 2012.

At 31, Waterfield is older than most of his rivals but after recovering from many injuries over the years he is in the best possible shape.

The Saints season ticket holder’s longevity is remarkable.

He competed at Sydney 2000 when he was still in his teens and was a silver medallist in the 10m synchro with the now retired Leon Taylor at Athens 2004.

That was Britain’s first diving medal for 42 years.

Waterfield has an excellent chance of at least one podium finish in his fourth Olympics , which would make up for a disappointing Beijing 2008, when he struggled with a shoulder injury and finished out of the running.

Originally from Walthamstow, just a few miles from the London Aquatics Centre in Stratford where he will be competing on July 30 (10m synchro) and August 10-11 (10m platform individual), Waterfield has been based in Millbrook with his wife and two children since the late 1990s.

But his dad Jim still lives in east London and winning an Olympic medal in front of him in the area where he grew up would be the highlight of Waterfield’s career.

One of his finest solo performances came at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester a decade ago, when he won gold.

Ten years on, it would be a wonderful story if Waterfield was to win Olympic gold on home soil.

He has already enjoyed success at the London Aquatics Centre this year.

Waterfield finished third in the 10m platform at the FINA Diving World Cup in February, having caused a sensation when he took the lead against his Chinese rivals, who will be the Olympic favourites.

He hopes to benefit from a bigger patriotic crowd at the Olympics, with 17,000 expected to cram into the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park. “It can bring the best out of you - and a little bit more,” he says.

“You can take it as having a great deal of pressure but for me it is motivation.

“I want to go there and do everyone and myself proud.”

With Daley struggling for form in February, the pair finished seventh in the 10m synchro at the FINA World Cup.

But both are on course to peak at their home Games.

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