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Coleraine mum's night of emotions after Daniel Goodfellow wins Olympic bronze medal

Olympic diver Daniel Goodfellow's Coleraine mum has spoken of the “emotional night” her son won a bronze medal in Rio.

Daniel (19) won a bronze medal alongside 22-year-old Tom Daley in the 10m synchronised diving event last week.

Following the win, some national newspapers cropped Daniel out of the photo and only included Tom on the front pages and his mum Sharon Goodfellow took to Twitter in anger.

More: Northern Ireland family's ire as diving hero Daniel Goodfellow left out of the picture by UK's press

But speaking to BBC Radio Ulster on Thursday, she said that she was “a bit too quick off the mark”.

She said: “It had been such an emotional night and I think when the papers were coming through that evening for the next day, they only showed the picture of Tom and I thought they don’t understand what synchronised diving is all about.

"It takes two people diving.

“I think they probably had to rush the paper out and that’s what I’ve been told. I think a few people did go back to them and they said they would try and change it for the morning but of course they have deadlines to stick to.”

Although he stole the limelight from her son, she said Tom should be praised for all he has done to help raise the profile of the sport.

“Tom has done such a lot for British diving over the years. He’s really raised the profile. I think it’s because of him that they’ve got the funding they’ve got because everything is based on medals.”

Although Daniel’s family weren’t able to make it to Rio to watch the pair compete she said they were just “absolutely delighted” to see them come away with a medal.

She added that it was particularly special because the boys only started training together last year and have not have had an easy journey to the games.

She said: “Daniel had a very serious nerve injury in his shoulder so really he’s fought for the last year and a half to get back to this level.

“They did their first competition at the national cup in January and then they went to Rio for a test event in February and there was four places available. They had to get one of the four places but then they won a bronze medal, which was totally unexpected because they had only been training for a couple of months.

“Daniel was in Plymouth and Tom had moved up to London so it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Some of the synchro pairs are based at the same club. “

She said the Daniel and the family have had to make many sacrifices as he was growing up to help him get to this level.

He moved away from their Cambridgeshire home and his family at the age of 16 so he could train in Plymouth

“He was very lucky to get lottery funding because the pool he’s trained at since he was nine had a springboard but it only had a five metre platform and obviously to be a platform diver at the Olympics, you need to be training on a 10 metre. Effectively he moved away from home three years ago and he’s been living on his own.

“We’ve probably seen more of him the last three months than we have done the last three years because it’s not easy to get up from Plymouth and they train six days a week and get one day off but they’ve done fantastically,” she said.

Daniel’s family who still live in Coleraine had said that Daniel’s success had brought a bit of joy after a difficult year for the family.

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