Puzzle pieces are falling into place for Dan Goodfellow after qualifying Team GB diving spot for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
With one of the best 3m springboard divers at his side, Dan Goodfellow believes the puzzle pieces of his partnership with Jack Laugher are falling into place ahead of Tokyo 2020.
Last year, Goodfellow teamed up with Laugher, who won Rio 2016 synchronised gold with his previous partner Chris Mears to become Britain’s first diving Olympic champions.
But despite their union being in its early stages, the duo secured their first major honour as a pair with 3m synchronised silver at the recent World Championships in South Korea.
Having secured Team GB’s quota place in the event for next year’s Games, which are only a year away, 22-year-old Goodfellow is confident the pairing will only go from strength to strength.
“I was actually not in the position I’m in now in the last Olympic cycle, I was just coming off the back of injury, I was still out of the picture when it came to the Olympics,” said the Meldreth-based diver.
“I didn’t have this preparation of thinking it’s a year to go so it’s nice to qualify a spot and to be in that preparation phase where I can just focus on the Olympic Games.
“We struggled to begin with because it’s hard not just being with a new partner but I transitioned from the platform to the springboard as well and they are completely different events.
“The partnership is going really well and we’ve done a lot in eight months as well, so with another year hopefully we can do some serious damage and bring back a good medal.
“I’m getting to grips with the springboard. It’s just that training is different, competing is different but I have a good mentor in Jack, who is one of the best springboard divers in the world.
“He has done two Olympic Games already on the springboard and it’s a massive help to me, so hopefully within this next year he can keep teaching me and our partnership can flourish more.”
Former Cambridge Dive Team member Goodfellow was previously partnered with Tom Daley, winning 10m platform synchronised bronze with the diving superstar on his Olympic debut in Rio.
With his transition to springboard improving by the day, Goodfellow is now hoping he and Laugher can continue to send a message to the rest of their rivals that they are here to stay.
“It looked like it was going to be a tough ask for us to win a medal at the World Championships but we did a lot of hard training afterwards and we managed to come away with a medal.” he said.
“That was our sole target for this year, to go to the World Championships get a medal and qualify for the Olympic Games and that’s what we did so we’re doing what we’re meant to be doing.
“It’s shown other competitors from other countries that we’re not just there to make up the numbers, we’re there to challenge for the medals and we demonstrated that at the worlds.”
With Tokyo 2020 now just under 365 days away, Goodfellow is already looking forward to his chance to be front and centre of an event that brings the nation together it a collective celebration of sport.
“When we have such a big sporting event in this country everyone comes together no matter what is happening outside of it and it’s great how everyone can share that common ground,” he said.
“People don’t just support Team GB but all the teams from the other countries as well, cheering on people from other teams and other countries that are doing amazing things.”
*(Only) One Year to Go. Follow the journey to Tokyo 2020 at TeamGB.com and @TeamGB
More by this authorAndrew Baber