Meet Team GB's best hope of a diving medal in Rio - and it's not Tom Daley


When you think of British diving you immediately think of Tom Daley, but in Rio he might have to step aside as the poster boy of the team.

That's because 21-year-old Yorkshireman Jack Laugher is arguably Team GB's best hope of claiming a medal in the diving pool - and he might even get two.

Jack Laugher

Laugher has long been touted as one of the best young talents on the springboard - diving legend Greg Louganis singled him out as a diver to watch six years ago - and that promise has started to come to the fore over the past few years.

Laugher claimed a bronze medal at last year's World Championships on the springboard - and then also followed it up with another third-placed finish alongside good pal Chris Mears in the springboard synchro.

He'll attempt to break the Chinese dominance on diving in Rio - although, he will have to do so with some pretty tough memories of his performance in London four years ago.

Great Britain's Jack Laugher and Chris Mears

Laugher was expected to reach the final at the Aquatics Centre only to endure a nightmare competition which finished with zeros after he all but fell off the board for his final dive.

The then 17-year-old left the Aquatics Centre too upset to speak about his disappointment, rushing past journalists in the mixed zone. But rather than try to forget his tumultuous London experience, Laugher insists he has learned from it as he prepares to head into his second Games in Rio.

Laugher told Press Association Sport: "I was 17 years old with little competitive experience, I was riddled with ankle and elbow injuries and mentally I was a kid taking it all in and I got overwhelmed by it all.

Tom Daley with his Olympic bronze medal

"But if I'd sat there for four years thinking how bad it had been I wouldn't have improved. It didn't keep me down for long. The problems I had then have now been completely eradicated and I'm at least 10 times a better diver."

Laugher's performances in the World Series have seen him emerge from the shadow of long-standing British diving star and team-mate Daley, who will still be very much in the medal frame.

But where Daley's hopes rest solely on the blue ribbon platform event, Laugher has two bites of the cherry and will also go into Rio as the reigning European Synchro champion alongside Mears.

Jack Laugherwith his World Championships bronze medal

Laugher added: "My track record shows that I can definitely win a medal in Rio and I know I am going to be totally prepared for Brazil. It's been nice to be slightly in the shadow for some time so I don't get all the attention, which is not something I particularly thrive on.

"But it is nice to have the recognition that I feel like I deserve, and when you have knowledgeable people in the sport telling you just how much you've improved, it makes you feel like all the hard work has paid off."