om Daley made light of some early sloppiness to book his place intomorrow’s 10m platform diving semi-final and keep his hopes of adding to his Olympic medal haul on track.
Daley ended his 13-year wait for a first Olympic gold when winning the synchro event alongside partner Matty Lee last week and there appeared to be a sense of after the Lord Mayor’s show about his opening-round dives in qualifying at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.
The 27-year-old was down in 23rd place after over-rotating on his first dive and earning a score of just 56.1 points, and only just edged inside the 18 qualification places with a modest 68.80 on his inward three-and-a-half somersaults in round two.
Daley has attracted attention for his knitting while waiting to take to the high-board between rounds and, after climbing to 12th at midway, the Brit finally managed to stitch together a series of impressive dives.
The highlight was a superb armstand back three somersaults with pike that scored a huge 94.5 in the fourth-round and eased any doubts about his progression.
Daley won bronze in the individual event at London 2012 and was world champion in the event as recently as 2017, and by eventually climbing to fourth despite thatunderwhelming start, it suggested he has the potential to be on the podium again when the final diving event of the Games wraps up tomorrow evening.
A second medal at what is expected to be Daley’s final Olympics would be remarkable achievement, particularly as he required knee surgery in June just to keep his hopes of competing on course.
“There was a chance that I wasn’t actually going to be able to be here in the first place,” he said.
“I couldn’t actually walk or do anything. It’s either I can’t walk or surgery, so I had to risk it.”
Whether he can challenge for the top step remains to be seen after reigning world champion, China’s Yang Jian, stamped his mark on the competition with a huge overall score of 546.9 to top the qualifying standing ahead of team-mate Cao Yuan, who finished second on 529.3.