Diving: Daley misses out on medal in 10m synchronized

LONDON Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:40am EDT

Britain's Tom Daley wipes his head in the men's synchronised 10m platform final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's Tom Daley wipes his head in the men's synchronised 10m platform final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre July 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - London Olympics poster boy Tom Daley missed out on his first crack at a medal on Monday in the men's synchronized 10 meter platform, with Chinese favorites Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan winning gold.

Cao and Zhang, aged 17 and 18 respectively, were diving at their first Olympics and had been considered the weakest link in China's bid to get a clean sweep of eight diving golds in London, but took the title with 486.78 points.

Mexico's Ivan Garcia Navarro and German Sanchez Sanchez utilized a series of high risk dives, gambling on two dives with the highest rated difficulty in the contest with a tucked inward 4-1/2 somersault and a forward 2-1/2 somersault with three twists, to win silver with 468.9 points.

American pair Nicholas McCrory and David Boudia took the bronze with 463.47 points, a day after Kelci Bryant and Abigail Johnston claimed the first diving medal the U.S. has won since 2000.

Daley and partner Pete Waterfield, who won a silver in the event in Athens, had held a slender lead at the half-way point and were in with the chance of clinching Britain's first gold at the Games, but dropped the fourth dive, which ultimately cost them a medal and they finished on 454.65 points.

Daley's appearance at the Aquatic Centre had created an atmosphere similar to a rock concert with the teenager a household name in Britain after he first competed at an Olympics in Beijing aged 14 before going on to win the individual world title for the 10 meter platform in Rome at the age of 15.

But his early fame has raised questions as to his ability to juggle his celebrity status with the demands of training.

His Russian performance director caused a stir before a test event in February when he said Daley was in danger of failing to achieve his potential and becoming the sport's answer to former tennis glamour girl Anna Kournikova.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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