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Tom Daley Wins Gold Medal in Commonwealth Games Men's 10m Platform Final

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 02:  Tom Daley of England celebrates on the podium after winning the Gold medal in the Men's 10m Platform Final at the Royal Commonwealth Pool during day ten of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on August 2, 2014 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
James DudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2014

Tom Daley won the gold medal in the men's 10m platform for the second Commonwealth games running. He produced an excellent first dive that built a big early lead he never relinquished.  

Daley was also aided by a poor showing from fellow prime Gold contender Matt Mitcham. The 2008 Olympics gold medallist was erratic with virtually every one of his six dives, shockingly failing to earn any medal.

That performance handed the summit spot on the podium to Daley.

Coming into the event, Daley had been widely fancied to win the final. Daley had dominated the event at the 2010 Commonwealth games in Delhi. The young Englishman had also tasted success in the dual event in Glasgow, per Andy Bull of The Guardian:

After five rounds the English pair were in last place, 13 points off the lead. They had blown almost each and every one of their dives so far. Daley got it wrong on their second dive, an unusual reverse one-and-one-half somersault with a half-twist. But it was Denny, terribly inexperienced in comparison with his partner, who made a mess of the rest. He kept over-rotating, which meant they slipped out of sync. Their third dive was atrocious and their fourth and fifth only a little better.

Of course, Daley had to get the better of teammate James Denny in the individual final. His greater experience proved enough to overcome the challenge of his countryman.

Yet Daley's toughest opponent entering this final was familiar foe Mitcham. It's a matchup that's usually a good battle but it didn't play out that way in this final as Mitcham struggled most of the night.

Matt Mitcham suffered through a difficult final, surprisingly finishing outside the medals.
Matt Mitcham suffered through a difficult final, surprisingly finishing outside the medals.Lynne Sladky/Associated Press/Associated Press

But Daley's toughest test ahead of the final had been to master the so-called "demon dive." In particular, Daley had to push himself past a psychological barrier concerning the twister.

Daley described his plan to master the issue via a Press Association report in The Observer:

I know that all my other dives are solid and consistent. I want to do a good twister. It’s not a matter of whether I need to or not – I want to do it. No matter what the other dives are like, I’d like to be able to go out there and be competitive after two rounds rather than only making it back up to the top after the fifth round.

It’s just one of those things you just have to get in the right frame of mind for competition.

Daley seized the advantage early after Mitcham made a mess of his first dive. A delay in his start time appeared to rattle the Australian.

Daley's takeoffs and tuck form were consistently good.
Daley's takeoffs and tuck form were consistently good.Clive Rose/Getty Images

That let Daley begin with a superb first dive. He earned a 94.5 score to end Round 1. It was the best possible start, one that left Mitcham facing an early deficit of over 30 points.

Mitcham's second dive featured yet more problems. He struggled to maintain good form through the various progressions of his twister.

Sadly, Daley's problems with that dive continued. He didn't manage full leg extension when launching himself off the board, ultimately meriting only a pair of sixes from the judges.

His third dive, a triple somersault and tuck, was undermined by a uneven finish, despite a much improved takeoff from Round 2. However, Daley still held a commanding lead at the halfway stage.

A solid takeoff was again key during Daley's fourth dive. The four-and a-half somersault dive in tuck position was rated at 3.7 on the difficulty scale.

Daley still had problems with the twister.
Daley still had problems with the twister.Clive Rose/Getty Images

But Daley produced a steady effort, resulting in a respectable 79.55 score.

From then, the gold just seemed to belong to the Englishman. He was too far ahead and the rest of the field, particularly Mitcham, couldn't avoid error.

Daley took the gold, ultimately sealing things with a 9.5 off his fifth dive. Malysia's Ooi Tze Lian won silver and Canadian Vincent Riendeau claimed bronze.

It's an important win for Daley. He was always in control and eventually won at a canter, reflected in his final score of 516.55.

Daley could only manage a Bronze at the 2012 Olympics in London. But against a reduced field at Edinburgh's Royal Commonwealth pool, he has reasserted himself ahead of Brazil 2016.

All scoring information via Glasgow2014.com.

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