A ‘hard year’ but Huddersfield’s Lois Toulson happy to dive in at Tokyo Olympics

THE confidence is starting to flow for Lois Toulson in pursuit of an Olympic diving medal after she cruised through the women’s 10m platform preliminaries in Tokyo.

Lois Toulson of Team Great Britain competes in the Women's 10m Platform preliminaries. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Huddersfield star executed all five of her dives at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with her final routine – the back 2½ somersaults, 1½ twists in tuck – particularly spectacular, scoring 73.60 points.

Her total of 314.00 safely saw her through in seventh position, with the top 18 all advancing to Thursday morning’s semi-final and the top 12 from that reaching the final later that afternoon.

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Toulson’s ambitions are far greater than just reaching the semi-finals but she was pleased to get her campaign off to a solid start and successfully deal with the challenge that a preliminary round poses.

Huddersfield's Lois Toulson in action in Tokyo. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

“I’m really happy,” she said. “I obviously made it through to the semi-final which was my first goal.

“It was quite hard because I haven’t done a long prelim like that for about two years now, so it was hard work.

“The length in between dives [with 30 competitors in the preliminary round] gives you quite a while to just sit and think things through and sometimes you think too much. But I’m happy with how everything went.

“The final dive has definitely boosted my confidence a bit. I know I can do my dives, I can do all my dives like the last one.

“It’s just when you’re up there trying to stay strong and confident which I struggle with sometimes but I think I do know that I can do it so hopefully tomorrow I can show some more.”

Toulson suffered disappointment in the 10m synchro final alongside Eden Cheng earlier in the Games, finishing seventh, but looks in a good position to bounce back.

The 21-year-old is at her second Olympic Games, after competing in the women’s 10m synchro event alongside Tonia Couch in Rio five years ago, and despite Tokyo 2020 being a markedly different experience, she’s enjoying her time in Japan. “It’s been really good,” added Toulson. “I think we’re all just really happy and thankful to be here since it’s been a really challenging time.

“Knowing that we’ve got this far is something to be proud of in itself. It’s been such a hard year and diving is such a mental sport as well as physical, so it’s definitely taken its toll but knowing I can do it has definitely built up my confidence.”

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