28 July 2021

Master-stroke! Tom Dean becomes first British male swimmer to win two golds in 113 YEARS

28 July 2021

Tom Dean has become the first British male swimmer in 113 years to win two golds at a single Olympic Games after he and his teammates triumphed in the 4x200m freestyle relay in Tokyo.

The 21-year-old, along with James Guy, 25, Matthew Richards, 18, and Duncan Scott, 24, clocked a time of six minutes and 58.58 seconds – 0.03 seconds off a world record time.

They saw off the Russian Olympic Committee and Australia to secure Team GB’s third swimming gold of Tokyo 2020.

It came after Dean, who had a second bout of coronavirus six months ago, won the men’s 200m freestyle 24 hours earlier, beating teammate Scott by 0.04 seconds.

Team GB’s Duncan Scott, Tom Dean, Matthew Richards and James Guy celebrate gold in the men’s 4×200m freestyle relay at Tokyo Aquatics Centre (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Wire)

Dean’s gold medal and Scott’s silver meant it was the first time since 1908 that two British male swimmers had stood on the podium.

Dean previously spoke of his fears about whether or not he would be able to compete in Japan after his two bouts of coronavirus.

He experienced only mild symptoms when he first fell ill last September but suffered a more serious infection in January.

“When I was sitting in my flat in isolation, Olympic gold seemed like a million miles off,” he said after his first win. “But here we are. This is the single greatest achievement in my life. It’s a dream come true to wear Olympic gold around my neck.”

After the quartet won the men’s 4×200m freestyle relay, Guy told the BBC: “As a kid, winning an Olympic gold medal was my absolute dream and to do it finally after 25 years is pretty emotional.”

Scott said: “It’s really special with these boys. Matt in third was so composed and the boys up front executed their race plans really well. So close to a world record in the end – if anything I’m a bit gutted!”

Richards, for whom Tokyo is his first Olympics described swimming with his teammates as “a privilege”.

“The confidence that gives someone, and the experience – money can’t buy it,” he added.

His parents, Simon and Amanda Richards, watched their son scoop the gold medal from their home in Droitwich.

Mr Richards told Good Morning Britain: “It’s a bit weird, but, I’m not gonna lie, as I’ve said, I’ve had worse Wednesdays.

“The trauma and the nerves (when watching them) are quite unreal.

“I said to Amanda yesterday that this parenting thing doesn’t get any easier. It feels like a very, very long time since he was eight years old and started swimming.”

Two-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty, who has also scored a success for Team GB in the pool, with gold in the 100m breaststroke, praised his teammates and tweeted: “Seeing this team progress over the last 6 years has been an honour.

“We always knew one day they would win the big one! Incredibly effort and no one deserves it more than these lads.”

Two-time freestyle gold medallist Becky Adlington appeared excited as she posted on Twitter: “HOW GOOD WAS THAT!!!!!”

“Insanely quick. What a swim,” she tweeted, adding an acknowledgement of Calum Jarvis, who swam earlier in the heats.

Team Bath, from the University of Bath, said they were “so, so proud to have three of this incredible quartet of Tokyo 2020 Olympics champions training with us”, noting the contributions of Dean, Guy and Richards, while also mentioning colleague Jarvis.

Andy Cyril Guy, brother of James, tweeted: “Can’t put into words James how proud we are of you, Olympic gold medallist, congratulations Duncan Deano, Matt & Callum … what a team !!!”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sent his congratulations, tweeting: “Another brilliant performance from the @TeamGB swimming team. Well done!”

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