Tom Daley finally wins Olympic gold as he and Matty Lee win synchronised diving event

The nerveless British duo posted a total of 471.81 points and were never out of the top two places

Tom Daley won Olympic gold at the fourth attempt as his and Matty Lee won the synchronised 10 metres platform in Tokyo in stunning fashion.

The nerveless British duo posted a total of 471.81 points and were never out of the top two places. They stormed to the Olympic title 1.23 points ahead of China, with the Russian Olympic Committee third.

Daley, 27, had tears in his eyes as he finally finally reached the Olympic summit, adding gold to the bronzes he won at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games.

Daley said he could not believe it after securing his first Olympic gold medal at his fourth games.

“I mean to finally have this gold medal around my neck after so many – I mean I’ve been diving now for 20 years and this is my fourth Olympic Games and lots of people probably would have counted me out of this Olympics being the older person but I’m in the best shape physically and mentally,” Daley told the BBC.

“With the support of Matty coming into this competition and the way that we’ve been preparing, I think we’ve just had that unstoppable mentality this year and this is the first year that I’ve ever been able to think like that – that we are the ones to beat.

“I still honestly can’t believe what’s happening and I honestly didn’t think I would get there in the first place, but here we are.”

The pair started well after an inward one-and-a-half somersault pike in the first round and continued their form to lead with two rounds left.

They scored 93.96 in the fourth round with an impressive backwards three-and-a-half somersaults pike to take charge.

A fifth dive – a reverse three-and-a-half somersaults tuck – earned 89.76 points to put the pressure on China ahead of the final round.

The British pair were 1.74 points ahead and an impressive forward four-and-half somersault tuck earned them 101.01 points and China could not catch them with their final effort.

Lee, 23, was left praying pool-side as the scores for China's last dive confirmed that he and Daley had won.

For Daley it is reward for a life lived in the public eye since childhood.

He began diving at the age of seven and there was a media frenzy around him when he competed at the 2008 Beijing Games as a fresh-faced schoolboy of just 14.

A year later, in Rome, Daley won gold at the world championships to underline his prodigious talent.

But there were growing pains. He was bullied at school and in 2011 his father, Rob, died of cancer aged 40.

There was immense pressure on Daley as a home gold-medal prospect -- and one of the faces -- of the London Games.

He did not quite live up to the hype, winning bronze in the 10m platform, and recently told the BBC: "Looking back, I sometimes wonder, 'Was that my time? Could it have been gold?'

Daley has said that it was only after the London Games that the death of his father really hit him.

There were also injuries, he considered quitting diving and speculation constantly swirled about his sexuality.

In late 2013, when he was 19, he came out as gay and is now married to the Oscar-winning film-maker Dustin Lance Black.

Together they have a young son, Robbie, named after Daley's father.

At Rio 2016, Daley won bronze again, this time alongside Daniel Goodfellow.

Updated: July 26th 2021, 8:13 AM
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