Tom Daley: Competing in Southend key for Commonwealth Games preparations

Echo: Tom Daley in action in Southend on Sunday Tom Daley in action in Southend on Sunday

TOM Daley said competing in Southend was a key part of his preparations for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Daley won the 10m platform gold, his first title of the season, at the British Gas National Cup on Sunday.

The Olympic bronze medalist qualified first from the prelims on 416.65 before upping his game to score 471.45 in the final ahead of James Denny (405.75) and European junior silver medalist Matty Lee (400.55).

The 19-year old saved his best for the last dive of the competition, receiving 9.5s for his reverse 3½ somersaults with tuck to score 96.9 and secure his first National Cup title, having won silver on his two previous attempts in 2010 and 2011.

“I’m breaking down my dives and working towards the bigger picture which is Commonwealth Games so I’ll carry on with that in training now,” said Daley.

The sport’s superstar has relocated to train at London Aquatics Centre this season, working with a new coach in Jane Figueiredo.

And while he admitted there was room for improvement, particularly with his back 2½ somersaults, 2½ twists piked which he dropped for 43.2 points, he insisted it was an encouraging start to his new working relationship.

“It’s not a bad start to the season,” said Daley.

“I’ve been working on so many new things – a new programme, new strength and conditioning workout and everything is in the early phases at the moment.

“The twister is my demon dive at the moment and it’s the one I need the most work on. If it doesn’t start to feel more comfortable, maybe I’ll think about trying a different dive.”

In the only other event on the final day in Southend, four-time British champion Rebecca Gallantree, who was born in Chelmsford, won gold in the 3m Springboard.

Gallantree had earlier teamed up with Lois Toulson to win the 10m Synchro.

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