The third leg of the 2013 FINA/Midea Diving World Series takes place at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh this weekend.
First held in 2007, this high-profile competition features some of the brightest diving stars in the world, including Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley, who will compete in his first major event of the year.
Sky Sports will be covering the event in a special programme on Sunday, April 21 at 5.30pm, featuring all the key action from the weekend’s competition.
The FINA/Midea World Series is an annual, invitation-only event where the world’s diving elite go head-to-head six times in the space of three months.
With only the top eight from last season’s FINA world rankings qualifying directly for the individual events and just the top six pairs in the synchronised events, there is no room for error as the cream of the diving world battle it out for the prestigious title of World Series champion and the handsome payout that accompanies it.
The 2013 Series is the seventh running of the event and takes place over six legs in Beijing, Dubai, Edinburgh, Moscow (April 26-28), Guadalajara (May 17-19) and Mexico City (May 24-26).
Sky Sports’ two-hour broadcast from the Edinburgh leg will include highlights from the opening two days as well as live coverage of the women’s and men’s individual 10m Platform finals.
British diving sensation Tom Daley is the star attraction in Sunday’s live televised 10m Platform event at the Royal Commonwealth Pool as he competes in a senior international meeting for the first time since London 2012.
While the men’s platform has the smallest field of the individual events at the competition, the lure of the 18-year-old – the host nation’s most well-known diver – ensures it will be one of the most eagerly anticipated events in Edinburgh.
While Daley’s successful dive list during 2012 led him to overall World Series and European gold as well as his Olympic bronze, the Briton has changed his approach to each of his six dives as well as the order of his list.
With this summer’s World Championships in Barcelona rising quickly on the horizon, Daley will be desperate to gauge his progress on the international stage.
Having landed World Junior gold less than two months after London 2012, Daley has admitted that he struggled with the emotional comedown following the pressue of competing in a home Olympics.
But with the defence of his Commonwealth title to look forward to next year, Daley insists he’s looking forward to testing the waters of the 2014 Commonwealth Games diving venue in Edinburgh.
He will be up against Mexico’s Ivan Garcia and Russia’s Victor Minibaev, the two most experienced competitors in Edinburgh at this level, each having competed in 16 World Series events in their careers.
Minibaev is the in-form diver of the two, winning bronze at each of the opening two legs of this year’s Series in Beijing and Dubai respectively and scoring his World Series best 538.05 in the Dubai final.
Completing the four-man field will be Ukraine’s Anton Zakharov, who makes his World Series debut in Edinburgh, though he is no stranger to the world stage, having competed at the past three Olympic Games.
The diving programme at World Series events mimics that of the Olympic Games, featuring 3m Springboard, 10m Platform, 3m Synchro and 10m Synchro for both men and women.
The women’s 10 Platform competition will also be covered live in the Sky Sports broadcast, which features reigning Olympic, World Championship, World Cup and World Series champion Chen Ruolin of China, the indisputable world number one in women’s platform diving.
Great Britain’s representative in the event will be Tonia Couch, who has achieved recent success with synchro partner Sarah Barrow but as a former Olympic and World Championship finalist, she is no stranger to world class competition in the individual event.
Also in action for the host nation will be Chris Mears, 20, and Jack Laugher, 18, who have attracted a legion of fans with their performances on the national and world stage in recent seasons.
Mears impressed to reach the 3m Springboard final at his debut Olympics last season and is a 3m Synchro medallist at World Series level.
World junior champion Laugher is a World Championship and World Cup finalist from 2011 and 2012 respectively and began his season by claiming his third consecutive British title.
While the Brits will have the home support, China’s Qin Kai and He Chong will start favourites, having won 17 individual 3m Springboard titles in World Series history between them.
Completing the British line-up will be Hannah Starling in the 3m Springboard, while Alicia Bragg and Rebecca Gallantree compete in the 3m Synchro Springboard event.
Blagg and Gallantree became Great Britain’s first female World Series medallists from the springboard in the Bejiing World Series event earlier this year.
The British pair gained plenty of international experience last season, finishing 11th at the FINA World Cup, fifth at the European Championships then seventh at the Olympic Games.
You can watch action from the third round of the 2013 FINA/Midea Diving World Series in a special two-hour programme this Sunday on Sky Sports 4 and in high-definition on Sky Sports 4 HD.
Charlotte Jackson presents coverage from Edinburgh and commentary will be provided by Bob Ballard and former British champion diver Brooke Graddon.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE START LIST EVENT TIMETABLE
Sunday 21st April
FINA Diving World Series – Edinburgh
LIVE: 5.30pm-7.30pm – Sky Sports 4
18:00 – Women’s 10m Platform Final
18:45 – Men’s 10m Platform Final