Aquatics / Olympics

Daley caps memorable Olympics by winning individual bronze in high-class final

TOM DALEY capped a memorable Olympic Games with a second medal at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Saturday.

The Plymothian secured bronze in a breathtaking men’s individual 10m platform final.

It followed on from his historic 10m synchro victory with Matty Lee at the start of the Tokyo Games.

Daley had been far from his best in the preliminary round and semi-finals, but he turned on the style when it mattered.

He led at the halfway point of the final and ended up scoring an impressive 548.25 points, with five of his six dives collecting more than 90 points.

But the Chinese pair of China’s Cao Yuan and Yang Jian rose to his challenge, with the latter delivering the highest-scoring Olympic dive in history in round six.

Cao ended up taking victory with 582.35 points, with Yang finishing on 580.40 points. European champion Aleksandr Bondar was fourth, well behind Daley, with 514.50 points. Nobody else managed to score more than 500 points.

By winning bronze, former world champion Daley becomes the first British diver to win four Olympics medals. He won an individual bronze in 2012, a synchro bronze in 2016 and now a gold and a bronze in Tokyo.

“I honestly am so happy that this Olympics has gone the way it has,” said 27-year-old Daley.

“I feel like a different athlete, I feel like I’ve been through so many different things over the years and to finally get here is great.

“Back at the end of May, I didn’t even know if I was going to make it to these Olympics as I tore my meniscus and had knee surgery.

“Of course I always dreamed I would get back up in time to be fit enough to dive at these Olympics, but if somebody had told me I’d win gold and bronze, I’d have probably laughed in their face.”

Daley had been favourite back in 2016 after winning the preliminary round with an Olympic record score, but then crashed out at the semi-final stage. However, he made sure he comfortably got through the rounds this time and then saved his best for when it counted.

“The difficult thing with the individuals is you have a prelim and a semi-final to survive and get through to the final,” he said. “Once you’re in the final, that’s what I love, I love competition when it counts.

“It was a great competition with the Chinese divers today, it was close all the way through but they pulled away after the fourth round when I missed it a little. Again, I’m so happy to come away with another Olympic medal.”

He added: “I owe this to so many people. My coach, all my physios and support staff, and also of course Robbie and Lance and my mum and all my friends watching at home. Although I’m the one standing on the podium, there are so many people behind the athletes you see with these medals.”

“I just wish my dad was here to have seen me at these Olympic Games winning two Olympic medals. He would have been jumping up and down – he would have probably been in the pool!”

Daley has not ruled out continuing to the Paris Olympic Games in 2024, although he did say he would be taking a well-earned break after his medal success.

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