MATTY LEE’S synchro career with Tom Daley is off to a flyer with the Leeds diver believing his new partner’s excellence will help improve him in every event across the board.
Moortown-based Lee has temporarily left the all-conquering City Of Leeds Diving Club for a new adventure at Dive London as double-Olympics bronze medallist Daley’s new synchro partner.
The duo have been put together for a crack at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the pair immediately hit the heights at the weekend’s Scottish National and Open Diving Championship by winning the men’s platform 10m synchro event.
Lee is also continuing with his individual diving – as well as partnering Leeds’s Lois Toulson in the mixed synchro event – and he believes diving alongside Daley will benefit every event he is competing in.
“There’s nothing stopping us and we obviously know what Tom is like,” said Lee.
“I think when you do synchro, Tom’s excellence brushes off on you and there’s definitely prospects.
“We can just hope and try our hardest. There’s definitely an Olympic medal chance there.
“I have known Tom for years now and he is a really good friend. I don’t look at him like a celebrity but it’s special being paired with him and it will help me out with my career as well.
“Obviously, he has a very big following on everything so his following will trickle down into my following. I won’t have millions of followers but he will obviously help me out!”
Lee’s new partnership with Daley is part of a double change within British Diving with City Of Leeds Diving Cub star Jack Laugher now paired with Daley’s former synchro partner, Daniel Goodfellow.
After Rio, I remember sitting down with my coach and evaluating it all and planning the next one and we will just sit down after every cycle and see where we are at.Matty Lee
Both synchro pairs will make their full competitive debuts at the British Diving National Cup next February.
Lee is the youngest of the quartet at 20 and the Leeds diver is looking not just at Tokyo 2020 but even longer term at Paris 2024 and even Los Angles 2028.
Lee reasoned: “It would be nice to go to those and I will try and hold on to my body.
“Hopefully, my body will stay together and stuff for that. But we just have to take every cycle at a time.
“After Rio, I remember sitting down with my coach and evaluating it all and planning the next one and we will just sit down after every cycle and see where we are at.”
For now that is in the capital with Lee quickly adapting to life in London which has meant leaving behind his family and friends but actually spending more time with girlfriend Millie Young, who has just started her studies at Westminster University.
Lee initially moved out of home last year – ironically to share a flat with Daley’s former synchro partner Goodfellow.
“I lived with Dan Goodfellow for a year but I had to move back in because I couldn’t afford it!” said Lee. “It was quite stressful and there’s no point moving out if you don’t have to.
“There’s a certain age where it’s kind of like ‘go’ but my mum and dad are very understanding and so is my brother and if you are in that situation you would do the same. They are always welcome to come and stay and, luckily, my girlfriend moved before me and also moved to London to go to the Westminster University.
“She has just started there and it’s kind of weird how it has all worked out. If I’d have been in Leeds I’d have been a bit gutted for our relationship but it’s weird how it has worked out.”