By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies.

Tonia Couch

Team GB Diver - World Series Champion


5 February 2017Plymouth dream team Tom Daley and Tonia Couch set to finally unite and take on the world

Born and bred in Plymouth, Daley, 22, and Couch, 27, have long been the darlings of the city for their exploits on diving platforms around the world, but despite their close friendship they have never competed side-by-side.

However, with Couch's admission she is in the twilight of her career and the possibility mixed 10-metre synchro diving may be added to the Olympics, they have finally teamed up.

They only completed their first, dedicated training session together last month, but rather poetically their first competition as a pair was at Plymouth Life Centre on Friday.

They didn't have things all their own way in the 10m mixed synchro, as Lois Toulson and Matty Lee (335.04) finished ahead of Daley and Couch (304.26).

However, their second place could be the first step on an inspired journey to taking on the world in an Olympic Games together.

"If it's an Olympic event we might be able to get Tonia to stay on for a fourth Olympic Games," Daley told Herald Sport, referring to the decision which will be made on the event's future in September.

Daley and Couch both began their Olympic journeys in 2008 at Beijing and have been great friends for more than 10 years, but why has it taken them so long to join forces?

"It's a new event and it's going to be announced in September if it's going to be in the Olympics, so we wanted to make sure we got a head start on it," said Daley.

Tonia Couch, Tom Daley and Sarah Barrow were all guests at The Herald Sports Awards in late January

Couch added: "I'm getting on a bit. I've been doing years and years of individual and synchro, so I thought this time let's do something a bit different, have fun.

"It's not going to last forever, so let's keep enjoying my last couple of years."

While their partnership is still in its infancy, there has been some adapting for Daley to do, and for Couch it's been almost too fun up to now.

"The dives I have to do with Tonia are a lot simpler than what I would usually do, so I have to alter that a little bit, but yes, it's been so much fun because she's my best friend in the diving world," he said.

Couch told Herald Sport: "Our coach is going to kill us because all we do is laugh. We work hard, but in between, we're giggling, we're running up the stairs laughing, it's not good for me, but we're really looking forward to it.

"We only got together in London about a week ago. We need a lot more training together, but it's a start."

Their friendship away from the pool can only be a good thing for the platform, according to Couch.

"We can tell each other 'we need to do this' or 'I need to do that' without feeling mean and that's what you need in a relationship with a partner," she said.

"If you don't speak to each other, it's not going to work."

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the first day of the National Diving Cup, Daley won the mixed three-metre synchro event with Grace Reid.

And Couch won the women's 10-metre synchro with Toulson, in their first competition together since last year's Olympics.