Mother dives into Daley row
- Published: 10/01/2013 at 10:45 PM
- Online news:
Tom Daley's mother has slammed criticism of her son by British Swimming boss David Sparkes, saying he ought to be thanking him for keeping his job rather than questioning the teenager's training regime.
British Olympic diver Tom Daley prepares to dive into a new aquatic centre pool in London, on July 27, 2011. Daley's mother has slammed criticism of her son by British Swimming boss David Sparkes, saying he ought to be thanking him for keeping his job rather than questioning the teenager's training regime.
Sparkes, the chief executive of British Swimming, said Tuesday that projects such as reality television programme "Splash!", which Daley is fronting, could wait until the end of the 18-year-old's competitive career.
"You can rest assured the next Chinese diving superstar will not have such distractions from training," he said.
However, Daley's bronze on the 10 metre platform was the only diving medal won by a home competitor at last year's London Olympics, with British Swimming failing to hit its overall medal target for the Games.
Now, in a lengthy letter published in Thursday's Daily Mail, Debbie Daley has hit out at Sparkes for a lack of leadership and accused him of failing to speak to her son since asking he attend the opening of a sports park in Loughborough, central England 18 months ago.
"As far as I'm aware, Tom was one of the few major success stories for British Swimming this summer... and possibly one of the athletes that helped you retain your job," Mrs Daley wrote, addressing Sparkes.
"Others say that your performance was the worst of any CEO in British sport. Surely you should be thanking Tom and showing your support and gratitude?"
Daley dedicated his London medal to his late father, Robert, who died after in May 2011 aged 40 after six years suffering from brain cancer.
British Swimming did not respond directly to Debbie Daley's comments but said they would "continue to work with Daley's family, agent and coach in ensuring he achieves his goals and potential".
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency