Tom Daley wins silver in Dubai

Tom Daley proved his Olympic platform medal hopes are very much alive after winning silver at the first leg of the World Series in Dubai.

The 17-year-old former world champion has been criticised for his work ethic in recent months but proved his world-class credentials with an impressive score of 539.40.

That placed him only behind China’s all-conquering world champion Qiu Bo, who admitted this week that an Olympic gold medal was his to lose in London this summer.

On the up: Tom Daley dives during the men's 10m platform final in Dubai

Daley’s hopes of testing Bo in London had looked to be slipping away following a poor run of results over the past 12 months, that culminated in British Diving performance director Alexei Evangulov likening him to former fallen-star tennis player Anna Kournikova last month.

Evangulov also claimed Daley’s media commitments were affecting his performances while adding his Chinese rivals ‘trained three times harder’.

While the dispute has apparently been resolved Daley’s performance in Dubai this week has provided evidence he is definitely moving forward again.

The teen’s silver today was his first medal in global competition for 11 months – when he registered an international personal best 562.80 in Mexico – while he narrowly missed the podium yesterday when he claimed fourth alongside Pete Waterfield in the platform synchro.

Daley’s medal was Great Britain’s only one of the two-day meet, in which China again scooped all the golds on offer.

Women’s platform synchro duo Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow had hoped to build on their bronze at the World Cup last month but had to be content with sixth today.

Nick Robinson-Baker and Chris Mears were also sixth in the men’s three-metre springboard synchro.

The second leg of the World Series takes place in Beijing from Friday next week.