By Tom Degun

finaDivingDecember 23 -Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield will host the London 2012 Olympic diving trials for Britain's top stars next year where the likes of Tom Daley will be in action.

The venue will host the trials from June 8 to 12 as part of the 2012 ASA British Gas National Diving Championships with Daley the main attraction.

The 17-year-old Daley, from Plymouth, specialises in the 10 metre platform and will be one of the favourites for gold at London 2012 after becoming world champion in the event in Rome in 2009.

He also won two golds at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games in the 10m synchro diving with Max Brick and then the 10m individual platform competition

Daley is set to be joined at the trials in Sheffield by other Olympic hopefuls Pete Waterfield (pictured below), Sarah Barrow, Tonia Crouch, Chris Mears and Jack Laugher, as well as Sheffield-based divers Ben Swain, Nick Robinson-Baker, Megan Sylvester and Monique Gladding.

Pete Waterfield_from_behind
Ponds Forge, which is operated by Sheffield International Venues (SIV), was recently awarded funding from Sport England to carry out work on the diving boards, with the 10m and five metre boards being extended to three metres wide.

This will enable high performance synchronised diving to take place, which will be showcased during the trials, while also meaning that technical measurements can be taken during diving coaching to assist with the development of the divers' skills.

"Sheffield has a strong reputation for sporting excellence and hosting the Olympic trials for our country's best divers only serves to showcase this," said Steve Brailey, chief executive of SIV.

"Further investment in our facilities also means we are able to provide the very best, not only for our own local athletes who use Ponds Forge as a training base, but for national and international sporting stars who participate in the major events that are hosted at the venue throughout the year."

It was also announced last year that the US Olympic diving team will be using Ponds Forge as their training base in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The team will be holding training camps at the venue in February and July next year in preparation for the Olympics.

"It will be fantastic to welcome the US diving team back to Ponds Forge next year as they prepare for the Games," said Brailey.

"They have been full of praise for our facilities and the city of Sheffield as a whole, so we hope the team benefit from their training camp at the venue."

Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, the Cabinet Member for Business, Jobs and Growth at Sheffield City Council, claimed that having the Britain's London 2012 diving trials in Sheffield less than two months before the Olympic is a major boost for the city.

"As a Council we work tirelessly to bring major sporting events to the city and with them, economic benefits for businesses and residents alike," she said.

"Sheffield is famous for its world-class sporting facilities and what better place to hold the Olympic diving trials than Pond's Forge.

"I look forward to the Olympic hopefuls coming to Sheffield."

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