Olympics appeal submitted for diving star

Tonia Couch
Tonia Couch (right) with GB Olympic team-mate Sarah Barrow. Photo: Martin Rickett / PA Wire

An appeal has been submitted to British Swimming asking them to re-consider the selection of Plymouth diver Tonia Couch for the individual 10m event in the Olympics this summer.

Andy Banks, Couch's coach, submitted the appeal late yesterday evening saying

"She's the UK's premier diver. I find it objectionable that she hasn't been deemed up to it. She's demonstrated internationally that she's the most consistent."

Couch, 23, will be diving for Team GB in the synchronised event with Sarah Barrow, but she has been overlooked for a spot in the individual 10m event by Alexei Evangulov, the Russian performance director of British Diving.

Despite coming second and scoring a personal best at the Olympic trials in Sheffield last weekend, selectors decided to take third-place Monique Gladding, 30, along with Stacie Powell, 26, to represent the UK in the individual event.

Banks has said Evangulov took the decision because he wanted Couch to focus on getting a medal in the synchronised dive.

Couch reached the final of both the individual and synchronised dive during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Couch's coach said he has "absolutely every respect for Monique and the way she's come back from injury. This is not an attack on her, but an elite sport is still an elite sport. Tonia's results are that much better and she should be on that platform."