It was a tense, exciting event, one of the Olympics’ most popular, and the crowd was showing its support for Daley and Waterfield with noisy chants and cheers from the bleachers.
British fans were hoping to see Daley and Waterfield take home an Olympic medal after the pair won the diving World Series earlier this year.
Ahead of the competition today, Daley tweeted: “After the toughest year of my life, today is the day!” His message referred to the death of his father from brain cancer in 2011.
Daley’s Plymouth diving coach, Andy Banks, said in an interview that he believes Daley’s hard year could in fact provide the inspiration the 18-year-old needs for Olympics success.
In Daley’s hometown, Plymouth, fans had been gathering all day to watch the competition on big screens and cheer on their hero.
China, known for its prowess on the diving board, is hoping for a clean sweep of medals this Olympics. China nearly took home all the diving medals four years ago, winning seven events before Australia’s Matthew Mitcham won the 10-meter platform.
The country’s Wu Minxia and partner He Zi captured the first gold diving medal of London Olympics with a in the women’s 3-meter synchronized event on Sunday.
“It feels normal,” Wu said in Mandarin. “I really don’t have that many emotions.”
Mexico performed with increasing precision as the event progressed and the country’s diving champion, Ivan Garcia, was less blase about the competition.
“When I stop being afraid, diving will be over for me. What I enjoy is the risk and feeling that adrenaline in my belly, that sensation of flying so similar to when you fall in love,” said the 18-year-old.
Diving is the event in which Mexico has the best chance of taking home a medal.
The scores after first round were:
1. China 56.4
2. Team GB 56.4
3. US 54.6
4. Cuba 54.0
After the second round:
1. Team GB 112.8
2. China 112.2
3. USA 108.6
4. Germany 106.8
Scores after three rounds
1. Team GB 203.88
2. China 201.40
3. Germany 191.28
4. USA 191.16
5. Mexico 189.69
Scores after round four:
1. China 294.54
2. Mexico 285.63
3. US 283.29
4. GB 275.15
5. Russia 273.13
1. China 387.42
2. Mexico 377.7
3. US 368.43
4. GB 362.85
The final score in men’s synchronised 10m diving:
1. China 486.78
2. Mexico 468.90
3. USA 463.47
4. GB 454.65
5. Cuba 450.90
How the diving is judged
Dives are judged on four stages: starting position, the take-off, the dive itself and the entry into the water. There are strict criteria and the idea is to perform as difficult dive as possible, executing each stage to perfection. In the Synchronised events, the two divers must dive in perfect harmony with each other. The less splash, the better!
Diving terms explained
Armstand – a platform dive taking off from a handstand.
Platform – a fixed diving board, at least 6m long and 3m wide. In Olympic competition, it’s 10m above the water.
Pike – a diving position for which the diver bends the body at the hips, keeping the legs straight.
Springboard – a flexible diving board, at least 4.8m long and 50cm wide.
Tuck – a diving position in which the diver curls up into a ball, holding the shins towards the body.