Diver wants to move out of Tom Daley’s shadow

Melbourn’s Daniel Goodfellow says it’s important to be distinctive


DANIEL GOODFELLOW insists he wants to step out of Tom Daley’s shadow before Rio 2016 – but admits they could be an Olympic gold-winning pair in four years time.

Goodfellow, 15, was the youngest and highest ranked challenger to 2009 world champion Daley at the Olympic trials last month but was denied by the London 2012 headline act.

The Melbourn-based diver and Ross Haslam (Sheffield) had to settle for second behind Daley and three-time Olympic veteran Pete Waterfield in the 10m event, making them the highest-placed juniors in this discipline.

Daley, three years Goodfellow’s senior, appears primed to bag Team GB a gold medal after making his Olympic debut in Beijing aged 14, but Goodfellow is already seeking his own golden path to the sands of Rio de Janeiro.

“At the moment, everyone is in the shadow of Tom Daley because he’s so big in diving,” said Cambridge Dive Team member Goodfellow, who benefits from being a member of the Lloyds TSB’s Local Heroes programme.

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“But I definitely want to be my own athlete – that’s what I’m looking for. Hopefully I won’t be in his shadow for much longer and hopefully I will be as good and as recognised as him. It’s good to be distinctive.

“Some people have compared me to him. A few newspapers and some people in the sport say I’m probably going to be someone who can compete right up there with him.

“There a few similarities here and there between me and Tom but everyone’s technique is different.

“There is a bit of pressure to perform as well as him from coaches and others in the sport expect you to deliver, but Tom wasn’t an idol for me.

“I used to go to swimming lessons and I saw all the divers and it looked a lot more fun than swimming up and down.

“I definitely hope to replicate his success though. Obviously, I’m not as special as him, what with him going to the Olympics at 14.

“But I want to be as successful as him and I might even go with him to the next Olympics. I’m not sure but we could be partners there, or we could be competing individually.”

Goodfellow and 3m synchro partner Freddie Woodward (City of Sheffield) also finished second behind another pair of Team GB athletes, but the young diver was not devastated to be missing London 2012.

“If I finished first there probably would have been a high chance of qualifying for the London Olympics,” he added.

“But I wasn’t disappointed because I didn’t go in with high expectations. I knew I probably wasn’t going to be going.

“I’ve competed against Tom a few times now. He didn’t really speak to us after they had won. He knew he was going to win because he’s Tom. He just came over and said ‘Well done’.

“But I think Rio 2016 is a realistic long-term goal because I went to the Olympic trials this year and did quite well there so, in four years time, hopefully I’ll be better.”

However, Goodfellow will enjoy a unique London 2012 experience this summer after being selected onto the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) Ambitions Programme.

Supported by Lloyds TSB, the scheme gives 130 young athletes the opportunity to watch two Olympic events, visit the Olympic Village and experience the atmosphere at the Team GB House in Westfield Stratford City.

“It was a great feeling being selected for the Ambitions Programme. It’s nice to be acknowledged and have someone tell you you’re doing well in your sport,” Goodfellow said.

“I hope to gain an experience of what the Olympics feels like and what it would be like if I did qualify for Rio 2016. It wouldn’t be so shocking.

“Some of the athletes on the 2008 Ambitions Programme are now competing in the Olympics in London which gives me a lot of inspiration.

“Lloyds are financially supporting the Ambitions Programme. It’s good going to all these workshops so it’s great what they’re doing.”

Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and the British Olympic Association’s Ambition programme, is giving future stars of Team GB the chance to experience the London 2012 Olympic Games first hand. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012