Williams admits he big speedos to fill in Birmingham

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Britain's Noah Williams in action during the men's 10m platform final at the FINA World Championships
Britain's Noah Williams in action during the men's 10m platform final at the FINA World Championships

Tom Daley’s replacement Noah Williams knows he has some pretty big Speedos to fill.

The 22-year-old from London has taken Daley’s place alongside Matty Lee, less than a year after Lee and Daley claimed Olympic gold in the men’s 10m synchro.

The duo also earned the Commonwealth Games title in the same event, which Williams will now help Lee defend having been named as part of Team England for Birmingham 2022.

“Filling Tom’s Speedos because I really enjoy diving with Matty, but it is hard as, listen, they are big speedos to fill!” Williams said with a smile.

“Matty and Tom are Olympic champions so going into this Commonwealth Games, because I'm paired with him, people probably expect us to win, so it is added pressure.

“But I really enjoy training with Matty and we get on really well and the diving seems to be working well, winning the national championships.

“I'm really excited to see what we can show at the Commonwealth Games.”

Williams is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science, and medical support.

At Gold Coast 2018, Williams earned Commonwealth Games silver in the 10m synchro alongside Matthew Dixon, one step below Lee and Daley on the podium.

Now Daley is taking some time away from the sport and Williams has embarked on a new link-up with Lee, starting successfully with 10m synchro gold at April’s British Championships.

And while the two are enjoying competing together, they also relish coming up against each other in the 10m solo event, with Lee getting one over Williams at the national championships.

He said: “It’s easy to transition between the two, we've competed against each other since 2015, so it's been a long time.

“We’ve been training together for almost four years now, competing against each other for around seven years, so it's an interesting dynamic.

“But I love competing against all these people who are Team England, Team GB, because we're such a strong diving nation.

“Our nationals are almost just as hard as international events sometimes, so it's always a great competition and it's fun.

“Obviously he got the better of me this time, but the last time we competed, I beat him it can go either way. It'll be great at the Commonwealth Games to have our synchro competition first, compete against each other.

“It's not even about where I come sometimes as long as I did the best out of England boys, then I've got bragging rights.”

Williams made his Commonwealth Games debut before he had even turned 18, but now, still only in his early twenties, he is one of the senior members of the squad.

With that responsibility, comes the dishing out of advice, including encouraging them to learn from his mistakes.

“Because the Commonwealths is a bigger team than normal, there's lots of new faces on the team, obviously I know who they are, but I’ve never been on a trip with them,” Williams said.

“And it's quite surreal because that was me at the last Commonwealth Games, I didn't know most of the senior members. It's quite weird, but it's obviously a lot better to be on the experienced side.

“I’d give them the advice to enjoy their time, the Commonwealth Games are called the friendly games, and it really is friendly.

“But also, some bad advice, I would tell them to stay away from too much food. Because my first Commonwealth Games, it was my first multi-sport event, and it was like a free canteen where you can have as much food as you want.

“I went way over the top, I had so much food. I'll tell them to be sensible but mainly just enjoy themselves.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will comprise of over 400 athletes, and having secured his place on the squad, Williams is looking to capitalise on the once in a lifetime opportunity for medal success in his home country.

And while Williams has taken his place, Daley served as inspiration for him and is perhaps still motivating him to inspire others with actions rather than advice.

He said: “I came here [London Aquatics Centre] to watch the 10m synchro at London 2012 and Tom and Pete Waterfield came fourth.

“I didn't feel too bad just because I really enjoyed watching the competition. Obviously I wanted them to do well, but I remember sitting there and being inspired then, even though they came fourth.

“So sometimes it is about remembering that even if you have a bad competition, you can still inspire other people to get into the sport.”

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