TOM Daley dropped one stitch and was left with a bronze blanket to his Tokyo experience.
Synchro champ Daley has spent the 13 days since his triumph putting his knitting skills to use.
But his hopes of double gold ended with a single slip as he was forced to settle for third behind Chinese stars Yuan Cao and Jian Yang.
The 27-year-old Daley’s costly fourth effort meant he finished on 548.25, with Cao just edging his compatriot for gold.
Daley had won the final warm-up event, a World Cup meeting, in the same pool just two months ago.
And while he had been less than sparking in the qualifying and semi-final rounds, this was for real.
On Friday, Daley messed up his opener, a reverse three and a half somersaults with tuck.
This time he was almost faultless scoring 98.6 to send out a message to his Chinese rivals.
Yang blinked, scoring 90.10 but Cao’s opener was pure perfection, scoring a maximum 102.00.
Yet the leader missed his second dive – the reaction of his Chinese team-mates was an instant gauge – to gift Daley a lead he retained after three dives.
Daley and his coach Jane Figueiredo believed the only way to beat the Chinese is to put them under pressure, by going before them and making them doubt themselves.
But Daley knew that Cao is a class act – and that Yang’s final dive, a forward four and a half somersaults with pike and carrying a staggering tariff of 4.1, was a potential game-changer.
And he left the door open on his fourth effort, a slightly messy entry on his armstand dive earning only 80.5.
The Chinese both marched through, relegating Daley to third, although within 16 points of leader Cao and three of Yang.
It meant Daley had to nail both of his remaining dives, picking up 94.35 to ask the question.
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Sadly, both the Chinese answered it, Yang scoring 102.60, the highest score of the competition to that point, and Cao netting 101.75.
Daley knew he needed the dive of his life – and mistakes from both the Chinese.
He partially delivered on his part of the bargain, a back two and a half piked somersault with twists for his fifth 90-plus score.
But it was never going to be enough, with Yang’s final dive gamble, a four and a half somersaults effort scoring a stunning 112.75, was not quite enough, Cao winning by 1.95pts on 582.35.
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