Tom Daley has finally won an Olympic gold medal at the fourth time of asking alongside partner Matty Lee, who was deputising at the Games. Daley had won the bronze medal on two occasions but he has finally won the top prize.
The British pair were faultless with every effort in the men’s 10m platform synchronised diving.
They never dropped outside of the top two and finished with 471.81 points – 1.23 points ahead of China.
China were the defending gold medalist but they slipped up in the fourth round with a score of 73.44 points, only the sixth-highest of the round.
Their fifth and final effort was a four-and-a-half somersault tuck executed to perfection which left Daley and Lee waiting nervously by the pool.
But when the judge’s scores arrived they hugged one another in sheer jubilation as their gold medal was secured.
Daley’s two previous bronzes came at the London and Rio Games.
Previous Olympic diving silver medallist Leon Taylor said on BBC: “Well the pictures speak a thousand words.
“The whole team came around them and that will be such inspiration for the rest of the team.
“I couldn’t be more delighted for Tom Daley, Matty Lee and everyone involved.”
Tom Daley history – by PA
Daley was an 18-year-old poster boy for the London Games – having competed at Beijing four years earlier – and he eventually delivered in the 10m platform. A poor performance in the preliminary rounds ranked him 15th out of 18 qualifiers for the semi-final. He improved to reach the final and was dramatically granted a re-dive following his first attempt after camera flashes distracted him. But he still finished third behind the USA’s David Boudia and China’s Qiu Bo to claim only the seventh medal Britain has ever won in Olympic diving. “To be honest, I was very nervous. I went in to it with a do-or-die mentality,” he said at the time.
Daley’s bronze came after disappointment at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford. Along with Pete Waterfield he missed out on an Olympic medal in the synchronised 10m platform event after coming fourth. They had led the competition after three of their six dives but a poor fourth round effort cost them. Their attempt at a three-and-a-half somersault, when Waterfield over-rotated and suffered a poor entry, dropped them out of gold medal contention and they could not recover.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Daley won a silver medal in the men’s synchronised 10m platform with partner James Denny. He also collected gold in the men’s 10m platform, defending the title he won at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010. At the World Championships in Russia later that year, Daley won gold with Rebecca Gallantree in the inaugural team event competition. He then won bronze in the individual 10m platform. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia he won the 10m synchronised platform with Daniel Goodfellow.
At the 2016 Games in Brazil, Daley and Goodfellow won bronze in the synchronized 10m platform. “Going into the last round there’s an intense pressure in any competition, but when it’s the Olympics it multiplies by a million,” said Daley. Despite his synchro success, Daley suffered disappointment individually after failing to reach the individual 10m platform final, despite initially setting an Olympic record score of 571.85 points in the preliminaries.
Daley and Lee held their nerve with a flawless performance at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre to claim Olympic gold in the synchronised 10m platform. The pair never dropped out of the top two to beat China to the title by just 1.23 points. It was the crowning glory of an Olympic career which started in Beijing in 2008 as a 14-year-old. A near perfect final dive – a four-and-a-half somersaults tuck – when the pressure was on in the last round proved the pair’s star quality.
Published at Mon, 26 Jul 2021 06:59:00 +0000