SPORTS

British diver Tom Daley sees rival Qiu Bo as 'robot' from 'conveyor belt of Chinese divers'

07/21/2012 11:11 EDT | Updated 09/20/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - British diver Tom Daley sees Chinese rival Qiu Bo as a "robot" from a conveyor belt of Chinese divers.

The 18-year-old Daley was deposed as world 10-meter platform champion last year by Qiu, prompting questions about his preparations for the London Games.

"The Chinese have got a different way of working. They're taken out of school and away from their families," Daley said in Saturday's Guardian newspaper. "There's just this conveyor belt of Chinese divers and they work them until they break and then the next one comes along and trains. So it's completely different. I train five hours a day, six days a week, which is a lot.

"But the Chinese guys are maybe doing seven hours of training, and working so hard. But they don't have a life. I do. I'm not constantly thinking about diving."

Daley, who became known as "The Boy Wonder" when he won the 2009 world championship at the age of 15, finished fifth at the event last year as Qiu emerged victorious.

"He's like a robot. Or he has been known to be like a robot," Daley said. "But pressure sometimes gets to him. You have to be able to dive as well as him to put pressure on him. Because if you don't put pressure on him he's not going to buckle. So it's tough.

"But when I won the worlds (in 2009) he did buckle. On the last dive I scored 10s and he dived after me and didn't do his dive very well."

Four years after becoming Britain's second-youngest Olympian ever at age 14, Daley will also take part in the synchronized event in London with 2004 Olympic silver medallist Peter Waterfield.

"I think my peak Olympic performance will be in 2016," Daley said.

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