Tom Daley and Matty Lee finish 3rd as China remain perfect in diving at the World Championships

China imperious on the diving board in Korea sweeping seven gold medals from seven so far, Daley and Lee have all but guaranteed their Tokyo 2020 tickets for Great Britain.

By Ken Browne

British duo Tom Daley and Matty Lee have qualified for Tokyo 2020 after winning bronze in the men's diving 10m synchro platform at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.

Chinese excellence in diving was once again on show as they took their 7th gold medal out of 7 in the event, Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen, putting the final sheen on another dazzling display.

Russia's Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev took silver.

Tom Daley spoke after winning bronze in Gwangju:

"Obviously, massively happy to be world medallists and also grab the spot for the Olympic Games, that was the main thing at this point in the Olympic cycle."

Bronze is as good as gold in my eyes just to be able to get to the Olympic Games in the first place

- Tom Daley at the 2019 World Champs in Gwangju, Korea

Daley was delighted with the fact that he and Lee have punched their tickets to Tokyo already:

"Bronze is as good as gold in my eyes, just to be able to get to the Olympic Games in the first place. That is often the hardest thing because in the synchro event there's only eight teams that get to qualify. To be able to do it this far out in advance, I've never been in this position with any synchro partner in the past."

"So really happy," Daley continued, "and the fact we get to train together every single day for the next year -- we've only been together eight months -- I think is really promising. I think there were some good dives in there, and we've done some really good dives throughout the year, we've just got to keep working hard and keep training towards what we know is going to be a very tough competition in Tokyo 2020."

Daley and Lee - Perfecting the partnership

Daley and Lee are hoping to challenge China's dive dynasty at Tokyo 2020 and this event will give them plenty to analyse, review, and improve upon.

Their reverse tuck 3.5 somersaults dive for example, a dive that doesn't have a massive degree of difficulty, saw the pair out on both synchro and execution.

It was a dive that cost them, the judges awarding 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 for Lee, who appeared to over-rotate, and they slipped from silver to bronze behind the Russians.

When it was put to Daley that it could or perhaps should have been silver in Korea, Daley said that at their best the pair can compete with anyone.

"I mean, we know that if we can dive our best, we're in the hunt with everyone, to be honest. We did well in London, getting the gold medal there [at the Diving World Series]"

"It's tough in those scenarios, because you know it's not just the medal you have to worry about. The fact that you have to worry about the Olympic spot on top of that, it just adds extra pressures and expectations onto it. Whereas where you know you're just diving for medals, you just go out there and get after it."

"But of course, we knew we could have got a silver medal. To have a bit of a bad day, you could say, and come away with a bronze medal, you've got to see some light in that."

There were plenty of positives to take away too.

Their fourth dive of the day was absolutely superb, a back 3.5 somersault in the pike position that drew 9s and 9.5s from the judges.

But the bar has been set by China.

To take that gold medal home from Tokyo 2020 - the one that Tom Daley has been dreaming about all his life - they will have to practice until they are as close to perfection as is humanly possible.