Team GB’s Tom Daley says he feels his body has “gotten younger” by being unable to compete because of coronavirus for much of the past year.
Although only 27, the double Olympic bronze medallist is considered to be at the back end of his diving career and he is the oldest on the squad selected to go to Tokyo 2020.
Daley has shown good form so far this year, both in the individual and synchronised event with Matty Lee, and looks more than capable of upgrading up a podium place or two in Japan.
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"I do feel like the granddad of the diving team,” Daley told SNTV.
“I'm the oldest on the team, it's a definite contrast to 2008 when I was the youngest on the team. It's the fourth time, but it doesn't get any less exciting."
Although I am a year older, I feel like my body has gotten younger because I was actually able to take care of it over the last year.
“I think when you're an elite athlete and you're just go, go, go, go, go all the time, your body takes a bit of a battering. So now, to be able to take a step back and focus on the little things I think has actually helped me get to a better position going into these Games."
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Last month, Daley showed the shape he is in by winning two World Cup golds at a test event in Tokyo, before winning gold and silver at the European Championships in Budapest.
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At the latter event, he recovered from a poor start in his individual 10m platform event to post a personal best score, proving he will be a contender if he is at it in Tokyo.
Daley also has the added advantage over some of his British team-mates from other sports in having competed under coronavirus ‘bubble’ conditions in Japan already. He knows what to expect, and although public sentiment in the country is understandably mixed, he has seen enough to believe the Games will go ahead safely.
"I think it's extremely important that we are respectful to everyone in Japan when we're there,” he said.
It's our responsibility to make sure that we keep ourselves to ourselves and that we are there to do a job to go and compete, and that's it. We're not there to go and see the sights. We're not there to go and socialise. We're not there for any of that.
“We're there to go from our Olympic Village room to eat and to the pool, in my case. And there should be no mixing outside of that whatsoever. And it's the athlete's responsibility to stick to that and make sure. And I'm assuming that it's going to be extremely heavily enforced as well."
“I think if it is anything like the test event, I think it will be extremely safe."
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