Tom Daley wins Olympics diving gold 13 years after first Games as husband in tears

Tom Daley and Matty Lee claimed a stunning gold in the synchronised 10 metres platform in Tokyo.

The nerveless duo finished with 471.81 points having never dropped out of the top two and took the Olympic title 1.23 points ahead of China, with the Russian Olympic Committee third.

It is Daley’s third Olympic medal after he won bronze at the London and Rio Games.

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.

China’s poor dive – a score of 73.44 points was ranked sixth in the fourth round – left the route to gold open for Daley and Lee.

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.

This is 27-year-old Daley’s fourth Olympic Games – 13 years after he became an overnight sensation by competing at the 2008 Games at the age of 14.

He shot to further prominence a year later, winning the 10m platform world championships at the age of just 15.

Daley also won the world title in 2017 and has previously won an Olympic bronze in the event at London 2012.

He also competes in the synchronized events, winning bronze with Daniel Goodfellow at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

His father, Robert was a huge supporter of his but tragically died of a brain tumour in 2011 at the age of 40 when Daley was just 17.

After London 2012 he became a TV personality as he fronted a new celebrity TV show called Splash, which brought the sport of diving to a wider audience.

Daley battled with revealing his sexuality before coming out in 2013 and is now a huge advocate for LGBT causes and is also a significant Instagram “influencer”.

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In 2017, he married the American film director and producer Dustin Lance Black, who is 20 years older than him, and three years ago they welcomed their son Robbie, named after Daley’s late father.

Following Daley and Lee’s sensational win, Black tweeted “No words! So so many tears! @TomDaley1994 you’re an OLYMPIC CHAMPION! Congratulations Tom and @MattyLee!

Daley’s medal history

London 2012

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.

Synchro disappointment

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.

Commonwealth Comforts

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.

Rio bronze

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.

Tokyo Triumph

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.


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