Tom Daley could follow path of Kournikova - Evangulov

TOM Daley has become the subject of further criticism from British Swimming performance director Alexei Evangulov who believes the 17-year-old could be set to follow the same unfulfilled path as former tennis star, Anna Kournikova.

Daley is destined to be one of London 2012’s biggest attractions but the media hype surrounding the teenager and his non-diving commitments have come under fire from Evangulov.

Daley denied that he is doing too much media work, after Evangulov said that such commitments were jeopardising his chances, and showed improved signs alongside Pete Waterfield in last night’s synchro platform final at the FINA World Cup.

“The thing with Alexei was he had an interview and that was it. He knows the amount of training I am doing and that I’m doing the right amount of training,” said Daley, who has spoken to Evangulov about his comments.

“I’m doing as much as I can. I’m pushing myself as hard as I can go without my body breaking.

“Diving is something I love to do. I do it because it’s fun and I want to do well in it. That’s the only reason I’m in the sport.”

But Evangulov countered: “It reminds me of the situation in Russia with Kournikova,” he said.

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“She looked pretty and made a promising start to her career but the media exposure meant she never got to be the best. She is still in the celebrity news but she never achieved her full potential.

“I am angry because nobody will listen to me. If he stopped all his media work now, I might be able to get him up to the third best diver.

“I don’t mind what he does if he gets the medal. He can become a rock star.”

Daley and Waterfield finished seventh in the final, having been third with two dives to go, but both divers missed their most difficult dives to scupper their medal hopes.

“It was just one dive we missed - that was the difference between getting a medal and not,” Daley said, who has trained with Westerfield for less than a fortnight this year because of the duos’ injuries.

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