Daley claims European gold
Tom Daley produced a dominant performance in Eindhoven to win the European 10metre platform title on Sunday night.
Daley, who will celebrate his 18th birthday on Monday, had blitzed his rivals in the morning's preliminary round and there was no let-up in the final as he comfortably reclaimed the crown he first won as a 13-year-old in this same city.
Daley twice scored 10s, and could have even attracted more for his most difficult front four-and-a-half somersaults dive, on way to a personal best 565.05.
His rivals were left in his wake, Russia's Victor Minibaev was his closest challenger some 49.65 points behind, in Daley's last international competition before this summer's Olympic Games.
Daley has delivered his London hopes a sizeable boost in the past three months, following his public criticism by performance director Alexei Evangulov, capped by Sunday night's display.
After Evangulov's comments he has won silver at the opening three legs of the World Series before finishing with gold, in the absence of world champion Qiu Bo, in Mexico last month.
That performance was his previous best and he believes his continued improvement could be a reason for consternation amongst his Chinese rivals.
"I think they'll notice," he said.
"I don't know if they'll be watching the European Championships too closely but I guess the word will spread about my score.
"It might say to them I'm coming up and doing it consistently to challenge them.
"I guess it will. That said while it might be good to try and intimidate them I don't think they get too intimidated!"
Daley still has some ground to recover if he is to match the best the Chinese have managed, though, with Bo's personal best more than 600 while he won last year's World Championships with a score of 585.45.
Olympic champion Matthew Mitcham, however, needed only 537.95 four years ago, and Daley said: "I think if I am to win an Olympic medal I'll have to score like I did today.
"Obviously in 2008 it was 538 (to win an Olympic gold) and most of my scores have been over that this year.
"But it is always different at each Olympics."
Daley's impressive season so far has come on the back of the stinging claims from Evangulov that the teen was not committed to his Olympic dream.
Evangulov claimed his Chinese rivals trained "three times harder" and likened the 2009 world champion to tennis' notorious fallen star Anna Kournikova.
Daley denied that criticism had sprung him into action - because he has largely ignored the media furore.
"I didn't look at any of the newspapers, I look at the pictures sometimes, but apart from that I don't read them," he said.
"I didn't really know what was happening. I filled in what was going on because I was getting all those questions.
"To be honest, with that whole thing, I'd only done one media appearance in January. Since then I haven't missed any training sessions, my interviews over the phone have been for just five minutes.
"Since then it's been getting a lot better. I was World Series champion in individual and synchro for the first time which was awesome.
"I think the real reason for my improvement is because I had such a long period in the off-season just working as hard as I could on all my new dives; making sure I did lots of repetition to get them consistent."
Daley's second European title ensures Great Britain finished the six-day meet with two gold medals after women's platform synchro pairing Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow's historic success on Thursday night.
It was the first British female European title in 74 years which looked it might be repeated today when 3m synchro pairing Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg qualified second in a lifetime-best 302.40
The City of Leeds team-mates faltered in the final, however, finishing fifth when their prelim total would have earned silver.
"It was a bit disappointing not to follow this morning's PB in the final," Gallantree said.
"We were really pleased with the morning. It gives us a major positive to take home."