Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) – English diving star Tom Daley missed weeks of training with concussion and was cleared to compete just days before the Commonwealth Games, he told AFP on Tuesday.
The triple world gold medallist, a major drawcard for the diving competition in Australia’s Gold Coast, said he was knocked dizzy and nauseous after a bad landing in training.
Daley, the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth champion in the 10m platform, said he has only just been cleared of the effects of concussion to take his place in the England team.
“I haven’t had the best of preparations, actually,” Daley told AFP on Tuesday, a day ahead of the opening ceremony.
“I have had a few illnesses that have prevented me from training as much as I would like. But training is going well now, which is the most important part.
“I had a concussion, so I was out of the pool for a little bit.
“It was concussion just from diving. I missed my hands on a dive and smashed my head on the water and then that was me out for a little bit to get over the nausea and the dizziness. It wasn’t nice.”
Daley, who turns 24 next month, said the mishap kept him out of the training pool for a few weeks.
“I had to have a few weeks where I wasn’t able to do very much and that was only a few weeks ago,” he said.
“I was cleared four days ago. So I am coming back and doing the best I can with what I’ve got. But I’m feeling good now, which is the most important part.”
– Baby chaos –
Daley said he was getting familiar with the rarity of competing in the outdoor Southport pool, open to the vagaries of the weather.
“It’s going to be interesting diving in these conditions, outdoors, windy, rainy or it can be blistering sunshine or cloudy,” he said.
“You just have to dive in it. We purposefully came here really early, we got here on March 26 and tried training here as much as possible to beat the rush and get everyone to train here for as long as we can in this pool.”
Daley sees the Commonwealth Games as perfect preparation for a shot at his fourth Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
“For me the Commonwealth Games is a very prestigious event, it means a lot to compete in a multi-sports event and to be able to have three Commonwealth Games where I have been successful, would be awesome,” he said.
“The Commonwealth Games for divers is such a good experience and one of the only experiences of any competition where you get to practise in a multi-sport event.
“Staying in a village, getting on the buses, going to the food hall, you don’t get that experience as similar to the Olympics at the Commonwealth Games.
“The Commonwealth Games is as close an experience to the Olympics as you can get.”
Daley, a tabloid favourite in Britain because of his good looks and talent, says that impending parenthood will change his perspective on diving.
Daley and his husband Dustin Lance Black revealed on Valentine’s Day via social media that they are expecting their first child, using a surrogate.
“The kid is number one now, diving is number two,” he said.
“I think that it will be interesting how that affects my diving.
“It will be instead of diving in a completely crazy place and going home to chill out, home will be the crazy chaotic place, and diving will be the opposite.”