Diving competitively since September 2002
Look up “precocious talent” in the dictionary and you might just find this young man’s name there.
Spotted by a coach taking part in regular diving lessons, Thomas was pulled out and put into a competitive squad in September 2002. He entered his first competition at the National Novice Championships in April 2003. He won a silver medal in the 8/9 boys.
In September of the same year he went to an invitational meeting in Southampton and won gold on 1m, 3m and platform – that’s when it began . . .
In June 2004, he won the National Junior (under 18) Boys Platform title, at the age of 10 – the youngest ever winner of that event.
At the end of 2007, Thomas was voted BBC Young Sports Person of the Year, following in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and Andy Murray – what an accolade!
His phenomenal success at the start of the 2008 (when he was crowned the youngest ever British Champion, won Bronze at the World Cup in the Synchronised platform and finished 7th in the individual platform, qualifying himself for the 2008 Olympics), lead to Thomas becoming a bit of a media celebrity, with interviews on Richard & Judy, Chris Evans, GMTV and more.
However, not one to rest on his laurels, he returned from the World Cup and after answering all his media demands, went back to training at his usual 110%, in preparation for the European Championships.
It was to be his most triumphant performance to date. Spurred on by a disappointing 6th place in the synchronised platform the day before, Thomas showed grit and determination to become the youngest European Mens Platform Champion in history, ahead of the 2007 World Champion and the 2008 World Cup Champion.
After being confirmed on the Beijing Olympic Team, as the youngest member of Team GB, the Olympics provided Tom with plenty of mixed emotions and a rollercoaster ride! His 8th place in the final of the Mens Synchronised diving was a little disappointing after their bronze medal at the World Cup, but several days later he went on to leave far more experienced former Olympic & World Medalists in his wake, on his way to a superb 7th place in the Mens Platform Final.
After a year of travelling with the Senior Team, September finally gave Tom an opportunity to travel with his peers to the World Junior Championships in Germany. He picked up 2 silver medals behind the top ranked Chinese divers in both his favourite platform event and his less favoured 3m. An amazing achievement at the end of an astonishing year.
In May 2009, came his most astonishing performance to date, GOLD in the Fort Lauderdale FINA Diving Grand Prix, and his 4th personal best score of the year.
Going into the World Championships in July, his confidence was high, having beaten every single one of the World’s leading divers in the previous few months, however with the lowest degree of difficulty out of all the leading contenders, not only was he going to have to be in perfect form to push for a medal, he was going to have to rely on them to miss one or two of their more difficult dives. Tom was indeed close to perfection and went into the last round of dives in 3rd position. The 3 divers who went into the last round lying 1st, 2nd and 4th, all dived after Tom, so it was a nail-biting end to a spectacular event, but one by one, they failed to surpass Thomas’s total, so first, he knew he had bronze, then it was silver and then, quite astonishingly, silver turned into gold when the last diver from China, the winner of the Prelim, the Semi Final and the diver who had beaten Thomas in September at the World Championships, fell at the last hurdle, handing Tom the title of World Champion – the pressure of Tom’s near flawless display was too much for the rest to handle!
Tom is Britain’s first ever diving World Champion and the second youngest winner of this event in history (oh and his winning score would have won the 2008 Olympic Games!).
- 2004 July, Youngest ever under 18 National Champion (aged 10)
- 2007 May, Senior International Debut
- 2007 June, First Senior International Final
- 2007 BBC Young Sports Person of the Year
- 2008 World Cup Bronze medal in Synchronised Mens platform
- 2008 Youngest European Mens Platform Champion in history
- 2008 7th Olympic Games Mens Platform Final
- 2009 May, first Senior International title
- 2009 June, first British Diving World Champion in history& the youngest British World Champion ever in any sport.
Favourite thing to do when not diving
Go to caravan in Newquay (Cornwall) with my family
Lance Armstrong, Alex Despatie (youngest ever Commonwealth
Champ at 13), Leon Taylor (British Olympic silver medalist)
To become a Blue Peter presenter!
Most embarrassing moment
My Dad dressing up as Elvis at EVERY diving party!!
Performances (up to end 2009)
FINA Grand Prix Winner
14 Senior International medals
6 GB Junior International medals
26 Junior and Age Group National/British titles since 2004
2 British individual titles since 2008
PB Individual Mens Platform, 554.90
PB Mens Synchronised Platform, 446.07
PB Individual Mens 3m, 333.75
4th, FINA DWS, CHN, Mens Platform, 520.35
4th, FINA DWS, MEX II, Mens Platform, 519.70
2nd, British Championships, Mens Platform, 483.60
1st, World Championships, Mens Platform, 539.85
1st, Fort Lauderdale FINA Grand Prix, Mens Platform, 554.90 pb
2nd, Fort Lauderdale FINA Grand Prix, Synchro Platform, 423.48
2nd, World Series Round 3, Mens Platform, 540.85 pb
3rd, World Series Round 2, Mens Platform, 540.70 pb
1st, British Championships, Mens Platform, 517.55 pb
1st, European Championships, Mens Platform, 491.96
2nd, Junior World Championships, Boys 14-15 years platform, 549.60
2nd, Junior World Championships, Boys 14-15 years 3m, 485.25
3rd, World Cup, Mens Synchronised Platform, 446.07
7th, World Cup, Mens Platform, 480.40
7th, Olympic Games, Mens Platform, 463.55
8th, Olympic Games, Mens Synchronised Platform, 408.48
3rd, Madrid FINA Diving Grand Prix, Mens Platform, 495.45
2nd, Madrid FINA Diving Grand Prix, Mens Synchronised Platform, 417.93
1st, British Championships, Mens Platform, 471.10
1st, British championships, Mens Synchronised Platform, 431.25
1st, CAMO International, Mens Synchronised Platform, 440.10
2nd, GB vs Germany International, Mens Platform, 433.90
2nd, GB vs Germany International, Synchronised Mens Platform, 410.34
1st, ASA National Championships, Senior Platform, 444.20
(also Junior Champion)
1st, ASA National Championships, Junior 3m, 328.40
1st, ASA National Mens Synchronised platform, 388.38
1st, British Championships, Junior Platform, 450.50
2nd, British Championships, Senior Platform, 450.50
2nd, British Championships, Junior Platform
4th, Madrid FINA Diving Grand Prix, 419.70 (2nd prelim, 480.05)
10th, Canada FINA Diving Grand Prix, 395.95
8th, Aachen Junior International, 14-15 3m, 403.60
1st, British Championships, Junior Platform, 399.05
3rd, British Championships, Senior Platform, 399.05
1st, British Championships, Junior 3m, 315.20
2nd, ASA National Championships, Junior Platform, 388.55
1st, ASA National Championships, Junior 3m, 285.45
1st, ASA Elite Junior Nationals, 12-13 yrs 1m, 308.05
1st, ASA Elite Junior Nationals, 12-13 yrs 3m, 367.50
1st, ASA Elite Junior Nationals, 12-13 yrs platform, 362.90
1st, Australian Elite Junior Nationals, Boys 14-15 Platform, 418.98
2nd, Australian Elite Junior Nationals, Boys 14-15 3m, 474.09
2nd, Aachen Junior International, Boys 14-15 platform, 350.85
3rd, Aachen Junior International, Boys 14-15 3m, 367.45
1st, British Championships, Junior Platform, 332.61
1st, ASA National Championships, Junior 3m, 503.13 (full list)
3rd, ASA National Championships, Junior Platform, 500.79 (full list)
1st, ASA National Age Groups, 9-11 yrs 1m, 246.30
1st, ASA National Age Groups, 9-11 yrs 3m, 266.80
1st, ASA National Age Groups, 9-11 yrs platform, 210.80