• Diving

TV show 'could cost Daley medal in Rio'

ESPN staff
January 8, 2013
Will Tom Daley be in medal contention in 2016? © Getty Images

Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley has been warned that his burgeoning media commitments could prevent him winning another medal at Rio 2016.

The first episode of Daley's new television show, 'Splash!', was shown on British television last weekend - with the 18-year-old teaching a variety of celebrities how to perform a selection of some of the moves that landed him an Olympic medal at London 2012.

But David Sparkes, the chief executive of British Swimming, is concerned such media commitments may negatively impact on Daley's preparations for the next Olympics in Brazil - potentially costing him the gold medal he craves.

"Tom is an incredibly talented young man but he's yet to achieve his full potential and it's only going to get harder to achieve that Olympic gold medal as he gets older," Sparkes said.

"You can rest assured the next Chinese diving superstar will not have such distractions from training. He should look at the example of Torvill and Dean, who waited until the end of their competitive careers before doing such programmes.

"I'm concerned Tom is putting the cart before the horse and I've expressed those concerns to his agent."

However, Daley's representative Jamie Cunningham has insisted that the television show has not impinged on the youngster's training.

"Whatever people think about the show, Tom has come across incredibly well," Cunningham was quoted as saying, according to The Times. "We would only agree to such an undertaking at a quiet time of year.

"Tom is fully on course to perform at his best at the World Championships in the summer having delivered at the Olympic Games and the world juniors that followed, when he helped out British Swimming by competing."

Daley's extra-curricular commitments have attracted criticism in the past, with British Diving performance director Alexei Evangulov saying before the Olympics that ideally he would "restrict" such appointments if it was up to him.

Meanwhile Sparkes, who received an OBE in the New Year's Honours List, has been forced to fend off criticism of his own in recent months, following Team GB's disappointing return in swimming at the London Games.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.