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Tom Dean and Duncan Scott win Olympic gold and silver medals for Team GB in men’s 200m freestyle

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Team GB’s medals so far:

  • Tom Dean, men’s 200m freestyle: GOLD
  • Adam Peaty, men’s 100m breaststroke: GOLD
  • Tom Daley & Matty Lee, sync 10m platform: GOLD
  • Tom Pidcock, cross-country mountain biking: GOLD
  • Duncan Scott, men’s 200m freestyle: SILVER
  • Georgia Taylor-Brown, women’s triathlon: SILVER
  • Alex Yee, men’s triathlon: SILVER
  • Lauren Williams, women’s -67kg taekwondo: SILVER
  • Bradly Sinden, men’s -68kg taekwondo: SILVER
  • Chelsie Giles, women’s -52kg judo: BRONZE

Team GB’s star athletes have bagged gold medals despite huge setbacks, including crippling bouts of Covid, broken bones and knee surgery.

Swimmer Tom Dean was the latest to streak to victory as he became the first Briton to win an Olympic freestyle gold in 113 years.

The 21-year-old touched the wall in the 200m freestyle in a British record of 1min 44.2sec, just 0.04sec ahead of teammate Duncan Scott in silver.

Dean’s win was all the more impressive because he suffered Covid twice in the last year – in September and January – meaning he missed six weeks of training during his second bout with the virus.

The victory sparked huge parties back home as his friends and family screamed and cheered as they gathered in a garden at 3am to watch him.

Divers Tom Daley – who had knee surgery just a month ago – and Matty Lee also produced outstanding performances yesterday to snatch the gold away from their Chinese rivals in the synchronised 10m platform.

Meanwhile Adam Peaty rocketed to another victory in the 100m breaststroke, becoming the first Briton to defend an Olympic title.

And cyclist Tom Pidcock pedalled home to an extraordinary win in mountain biking despite being hit by a car and breaking his collarbone just eight weeks ago.

Elsewhere Georgia Taylor-Brown produced an incredible recovery from a rear tyre puncture in the women’s triathlon to take silver on whta is being dubbed ‘Magic Monday’.

Team GB has so far won four gold medals, five silvers and a bronze, leaving them with ten in total and sitting in fifth in the table behind the US, Japan, China and Russia.

Swimmer Tom Dean (right, with Duncan Scott who came second) was the latest to streak home to victory as he became the first British man to win an Olympic freestyle gold in 113 years 

The victory sparked huge parties back home as his friends and family screamed and cheered as they gathered in a garden at 3am to watch him

The victory sparked huge parties back home as his friends and family screamed and cheered as they gathered in a garden at 3am to watch him

Tom Daley (R) won gold in the synchronised 10-metre platform with partner Matty Lee (L)

Tom Daley (R) won gold in the synchronised 10-metre platform with partner Matty Lee (L) 

Meanwhile Adam Peaty rocketed to another victory in the 100m breaststroke, becoming the first Briton to defend an Olympic title

Meanwhile Adam Peaty rocketed to another victory in the 100m breaststroke, becoming the first Briton to defend an Olympic title

Cyclist Tom Pidcock pedalled home to an extraordinary win in mountain biking despite being hit by a car and breaking his collarbone just eight weeks ago

Cyclist Tom Pidcock pedalled home to an extraordinary win in mountain biking despite being hit by a car and breaking his collarbone just eight weeks ago

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Taylor-Brown’s race looked to be in jeopardy when she suffered a dramatic rear tyre puncture

Tom Dean: The boy from Berkshire who got through his troublesome teens to become Olympic champion

Tom Dean struggled during his teenage years before focusing on his swimming career, his former coach has revealed.

Paul Lloyd, the head coach at his childhood club Maidenhead Marlins, said the Team GB star was supported by his older sister Connie during those years.

He revealed Dean joined the Berkshire swimming side when he was about nine, before being coached by him when he was 11.

Mr Lloyd said he was ‘very focused’ and ‘determined’ but had a ‘wobble’ when he was a teenager.’

He told the Today programme: ‘He joined the club with me when he was around eight years old but moved into my squad when he was just about 11.

‘He was a very focused, very determined young man lots of natural talent, then it was a bit of a meandering journey, there were ebbs and flows through his early teens but we’ve managed to support him and keep him focused and big shout to his older sister Connie for keeping him going.

‘But he was always a racer and always very very determined. I think the rivalry between Duncan and Tom certainly helped and him being able to train cheek by jowl with James Guy over the last year or two.

‘Ultimately I think Tom’s talent shone through and his ability to race when it matters has always been one of his key strengths.’

Dean’s mother Jackie Hughes said the family moved from London to Maidenhead when her five children were young.

She said she had been a big swimmer while she was at university and wanted her children to follow suit.

She said they were all in the pool from about 10 weeks ago.

Away from the sport, Dean appears to be in a relationship with Catherine Ross, who is from Warrington but studying at Bath University.

He uploaded a picture of the pair of them together with the caption: ‘No 1.’

Dean’s road to success was not straight forward, having suffered two bouts of Covid in the last year.

He said: ‘I knew it was going to be a dog fight. I didn’t know how people were going to swim it. It was just race to race.

‘Thanks so much to everyone back home, my mum, my family, my girlfriend, all the boys back in Maidenhead, thank you for staying up.

‘I contracted Covid-19 twice in the last 12 months. I had Covid-19 in September and in January. The first time wasn’t too bad.

‘The second time I did the full isolation period, I wasn’t able to train and it was a slow-build back into training. I had six or seven weeks out during an Olympic year which is almost unheard of. When I was sitting in my flat in isolation, an Olympic gold seemed a million miles off.

‘When I can’t walk up the stairs without coughing and wheezing I thought this is going to be tough to come back from, so that was frightening. It was the biggest setback, three weeks out of the water in January was brutal because it was then another three weeks of building it back up. It was upsetting because nobody takes six off in the build-up to an Olympics. It was a real shock to the system but the it spurred me on because I knew I had some catch up work to do.’ 

It was mechanical engineering student Dean’s first medal against a full international field and he is just the second British man after Peaty to have struck gold in 33 years.

For Scott, who graduated from Stirling University with a 2:1 last month, this was a third Olympic medal after he also won two relay silvers at Rio 2016.

His time was also his personal best and he finished 0.44sec clear of Brazilian Fernando Scheffer, who won bronze.

It was the first time since 1908 two Brits have shared the top two spots on an Olympic podium in swimming, with Henry Taylor and Thomas Sidney Battersby winning gold and silver in the 1500m freestyle in London 113 years ago.

Dean, who has suffered from Covid twice in the last 12 months, said: ‘I knew it was going to be a dog fight. I didn’t know how people were going to swim it. It was just race to race.

‘Thanks so much to everyone back home, my mum, my family, my girlfriend, all the boys back in Maidenhead, thank you for staying up.

‘I contracted Covid-19 twice in the last 12 months. I had Covid-19 in September and in January. The first time wasn’t too bad.

‘The second time I did the full isolation period, I wasn’t able to train and it was a slow-build back into training. I had six or seven weeks out during an Olympic year which is almost unheard of. When I was sitting in my flat in isolation, an Olympic gold seemed a million miles off.

‘When I can’t walk up the stairs without coughing and wheezing I thought this is going to be tough to come back from, so that was frightening. It was the biggest setback, three weeks out of the water in January was brutal because it was then another three weeks of building it back up.

‘It was upsetting because nobody takes six off in the build-up to an Olympics. It was a real shock to the system but the it spurred me on because I knew I had some catch up work to do.

‘The three-week build up back to training had to be structured to prevent any long-term damage to my heart and lungs so it was scary.’

Asked if he feared missing out on a place on the plane to the Games, Dean admitted: ‘I had a few pretty frank conversations with members of staff at the Bath National Centre, speaking about previous swimmers who had come back from injuries, but this was slightly different because it wasn’t so clear cut.

‘I think I was one of the first athletes in any British Olympic sport to contract Covid twice in such a short space of time, so there were quite a few question marks around it.

‘I’m thinking, ”How am I going to be able to recover from this in time to get a solid block of work under my belt before we start tapering for Olympic trials?”. I had to post some pretty quick times in the 200 free because of how stacked it is within Great Britain.’

Dean’s family moved from London to Maidenhead in Berkshire where he was first in a pool at just ten weeks old along with his four siblings.

He joined the local swimming team the Maidenhead Marlins where his coach revealed he was full of ‘natural talent’ and was very ‘determined’.

But he said the youngster had a wobble during his teenage years before with the help of his older sister Connie got back on track and focused on the sport.

His mother Jackie Hughes told Sky News: ‘Before the race he was very quiet, contained and internal and very methodical, he knew what he had to do, he just wanted to get on with it.

‘After the race he said: ‘Mum I just feel like I’m in a dream I knew I could win it but none of it’s sunk in.”

Ms Hughes added: ‘I just said to him, ”Tom my heart is bursting” and it’s not just because you have won a gold medal it’s the way he conducts himself, the way he picks himself up after disappointment.

‘He’s had two bouts of Covid this year, it’s really knocked his plan off. I’m just so proud of the way he approaches it.’ 

It was mechanical engineering student Dean's first medal against a full international field and he is just the second British man after Peaty to have struck gold in 33 years

It was mechanical engineering student Dean’s first medal against a full international field and he is just the second British man after Peaty to have struck gold in 33 years

Team GB's Tom Dean puts his hand to his face as he sheds a tear during celebrations for winning a gold medal in the men's 200m freestyle

Team GB’s Tom Dean puts his hand to his face as he sheds a tear during celebrations for winning a gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle

A video on social media has emerged of many of those close to Dean cheering him on during the race

A video on social media has emerged of many of those close to Dean cheering him on during the race

Plenty had gathered under the night sky at 3am to watch Dean and they were not left disappointed

Plenty had gathered under the night sky at 3am to watch Dean and they were not left disappointed

Away from the sport, Dean appears to be in a relationship with Catherine Ross, who is from Warrington but studying at Bath University

Away from the sport, Dean appears to be in a relationship with Catherine Ross, who is from Warrington but studying at Bath University

Dean's mother Jackie Hughes said the family moved from London to Maidenhead when her five children were young

Dean’s mother Jackie Hughes said the family moved from London to Maidenhead when her five children were young

Tom Dean is pictured with some members of his family and friends in a shot from his Instagram account captioned: 'Christmas Eve drinks'

Tom Dean is pictured with some members of his family and friends in a shot from his Instagram account captioned: ‘Christmas Eve drinks’

It’s over for Osaka! Tokyo Olympics’ poster girl Naomi is STUNNED in just the third round and admits the pressure got to her

Naomi Osaka’s bid to become the first Japanese player ever to win tennis Olympic gold came to a abrupt halt as she was beaten in straight sets by Marketa Vondrousova in the last-16.

Osaka, world No 2, was considered the tournament favourite once Wimbledon champion and world No 1 Ash Barty suffered a shock round one exit but she admitted pressure got to her today. 

Vondrousova, who reached the final of the French Open in 2019, was ruthless in her execution and having took the first set 6-1 in just 24 minutes, she held her nerve in the second set to run out 6-1, 6-4 winner. 

Having ended her media boycott when she arrived at this tournament it appeared it was back on as she made a hasty exit after the loss. But she returned for a couple of questions in what is one of the biggest shocks of the tennis tournament so far.

‘I feel like I should be used to (the pressure) by now,’ she said. 

‘But at the same time, the scale of everything has been a bit hard because of the break that I took. I am glad I didn’t lose in the first round at least.’

Osaka swiftly departed the court and did not stop to speak to reporters after the match she lost

Osaka swiftly departed the court and did not stop to speak to reporters after the match she lost

She added to the Today programme: ‘It actually hasn’t sunk in yet, somebody asked me earlier whether there were tears and I looked around at my other children and people in my garden and they were all crying and I think I was just in shock.

‘We were watching it on a screen in the garden and I think it’s quite embarrassing the footage because we’re jumping up and down like whirling dervishs.

‘Tom said he feels like he’s in a dream and I think I’m with him in the same dream. I had a very quick Facetime call with him and Adam Peaty’s coach… it was very very brief.

‘He’s on a high and he’s going to be man of the moment and everyone will want a piece of him so I’m happy to leave him to that.’

On how he got into swimming, she added: ‘I’ve always swam every day of my life and when I had the kids I just wanted them to get into the water as soon as possible.

‘Tom’s the second of five children and they were all in the water as soon as they were 10 weeks old and doing baby swimming classes and then I just kept it up.

‘And it wasn’t with any plan in mind, it wasn’t with the idea this would be his sport, it was just a great thing to get them to do and there was a consistency in my approach to just keeping up the lessons and you know he took to it, they all did.

‘We just took it from there, we moved out of London to Maidenhead, we joined the local swimming club and we were lucky Paul Lloyd the head coach was just coming over to that club at the same time and they went on the journey together.’

Paul Lloyd, the head coach at his childhood club Maidenhead Marlins, said: ‘He joined the club with me when he was around eight years old but moved into my squad when he was just about 11.

‘He was a very focused, very determined young man lots of natural talent, then it was a bit of a meandering journey, there were ebbs and flows through his early teens but we’ve managed to support him and keep him focused and big shout to his older sister Connie for keeping him going.

‘But he was always a racer and always very very determined. I think the rivalry between Duncan and Tom certainly helped and him being able to train cheek by jowl with James Guy over the last year or two.

‘Ultimately I think Tom’s talent shone through and his ability to race when it matters has always been one of his key strengths.’

Scott added: ‘Just a massive credit to Tom Dean, that was unbelievable. Olympic champion – he’s come along so far in the last 18 months, it’s a pleasure to watch.’

He continued: ‘It’s great to be able to say he’s a good mate out of the pool. It’s great being able to compete against him as well.

‘Obviously I’m delighted with that. For me massive credit to my coach Steve Tigg. I wouldn’t be standing here without him.

‘The journey I’ve been on with him since I was about eight years old has been phenomenal. I’m just buzzing for Deano to be honest.’

Dean’s sister Connie told Good Morning Britain: ‘He’s my baby brother. I’ve had to wake him up every morning for about a decade and make him a pain au chocolat.

‘I just can’t put it into words, I could not be prouder of him. I couldn’t miss being there more, I’ve slept a couple of hours and it still feels really surreal.’

She added: ‘It definitely hasn’t sunk in, but if anyone deserves it, it’s Tom. I’m just so happy we’re all here to watch it together.’ 

Dean, who has suffered from Covid twice in the last 12 months, said: 'I knew it was going to be a dog fight. I didn't know how people were going to swim it. It was just race to race

Dean, who has suffered from Covid twice in the last 12 months, said: ‘I knew it was going to be a dog fight. I didn’t know how people were going to swim it. It was just race to race

Dean shared this throwback shot of him as a youngster after watching the London Olympics as he revealed he had been selected for Team GB himself

Dean shared this throwback shot of him as a youngster after watching the London Olympics as he revealed he had been selected for Team GB himself

But Dean nevertheless stole the show and touched the wall in a British record of 1min 44.2sec

But Dean nevertheless stole the show and touched the wall in a British record of 1min 44.2sec

Scott's time was also his personal best and he finished 0.44sec clear of bronze medallist Fernando Scheffer of Brazil (right)

Scott’s time was also his personal best and he finished 0.44sec clear of bronze medallist Fernando Scheffer of Brazil (right)

Tom Daley was not supposed to do it at these Games after having knee surgery ONE MONTH before heading to Tokyo

It was an agonising wait of only a couple of minutes but enough for the dreams of a lifetime to flash through Tom Daley’s mind. 

After 20 years of trying — starting out in Plymouth Leisure Centre — Daley and his partner Matty Lee were top of the leaderboard in Tokyo after their final dive featuring four-and-a-half near-perfect forward somersaults with tuck.

The only problem was that the Chinese were yet to perform what may well have proved the latest in a long line of synchronised miracles from the 10-metre platform.

Handpicked from a Beijing-sponsored production line, drilled to within an inch of their sanity and nerveless when falling vertically, they may well have struck fear into Daley and his pal waiting at the hushed poolside to learn their fate.

Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen jumped. Barely a splash to talk of. Lee turned to Daley and said: ‘Oh, s***.’ They feared victory had been ripped from them. But the final scores lit up the screen and by 471.81 points to 470.58 the Brits had hung on.

And little Tom Daley, who grew up in the eyes of the world, and at times bewitched us with his precocious talent and skylarking nature, was an Olympic champion.

Aged 27, he was not meant to do it at these Games. His time was supposed to have been at Rio five years ago, when his bones, muscles and tendons had not been too knocked about by this bruising business.

Yes, he was helped by the Chinese fluffing their fourth dive, but Daley and Lee were exceptional.

Thoughts turned back to Plymouth and the unremarkable three-bedroom house he was raised in, and especially to his late father Rob. He called himself ‘Taxi Dad’ for driving Tom to training and competitions, some 100,000 miles and more. A happy, laughing man, an electrician by trade, his devotion to his eldest son was immense.

In his last interview, while suffering from a second brain tumour that had stolen from him the use of his left side, Rob told me that he would travel to Sheffield despite his advanced illness to support Tom the following weekend.

Earlier in the pool, Daley and Lee overcame the dominant Chinese pairing of Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen on the synchronised 10m platform.

It is Daley’s first Olympic gold and follows bronzes at the London and Rio Games. The 27-year-old and Lee, 23, executed a series of near-perfect dives win.

Within hours it lead to bookmakers slashing Daley’s odds to also take home Sports Personality of the Year from 80/1 to 11/2.

Daley admitted he had feared his glorious golden moment was never going to come after finally fulfilling his 20-year Olympic dream.

The poster boy of British diving started out in the sport as a seven-year-old and memorably made his Games debut aged 14 at Beijing 2008.

But despite winning bronzes at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, only on Monday and at his fourth Games was Daley able to claim the one medal he really craved.

‘Many times I’ve doubted that this moment would ever come,’ confessed Daley, who was in tears as he stood on top of the podium and the national anthem played out at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

‘I dreamt since I started diving 20 years ago for this moment, becoming an Olympic champion. But to take it to my fourth Olympics, where a lot of people would have not considered it my peak Games, it is unbelievable.

‘I thought Rio was going to be the Olympics where I had the best chance of becoming an Olympic champion and that turned out completely opposite. Then in 2018, I had broken shins. Starting off last year, I broke my hand. 

‘Even up until June, I had a pretty bad knee injury – I tore my meniscus and went under knee surgery.

‘It was either I couldn’t walk or have surgery, so I had to risk it. There was a chance that I wasn’t actually going to be able to be here because they said it would be four to six weeks, and it was six weeks by the time we left for Tokyo.

‘But my husband said to me my story wasn’t finished and that our child was meant to watch me become an Olympic champion. I can now say he has – albeit on TV. I genuinely still can’t believe it actually just happened.’

It was three years ago that Daley had son Robbie with his husband Dustin Lance Black, who he was seen speaking to on a poolside TV screen after collecting his gold medal. And the 27-year-old has credited fatherhood with transforming his fortunes in his sport.

‘Being a father was a massive turning point in my career as an athlete,’ said Daley. ‘I realised whether I did really well or terribly I can go home to a husband and son who love me regardless.

‘Knowing that love is unconditional to go and stand on that diving board, I can take that pressure off myself and enjoy it. It has changed my whole perspective.’

Tom Daley's triumph at the Tokyo Olympics has sparked an huge outpouring of joy - and tears - from friends and supporters

Tom Daley’s triumph at the Tokyo Olympics has sparked an huge outpouring of joy – and tears – from friends and supporters

The British pair celebrate their triumph, biting their gold medals on the podium in Tokyo

The British pair celebrate their triumph, biting their gold medals on the podium in Tokyo

Daley, who came out as gay in 2013, said he wanted to be an inspiration to LGBT athletes

Daley, who came out as gay in 2013, said he wanted to be an inspiration to LGBT athletes

Georgia Taylor-Brown produces incredible recovery from a rear tyre PUNCTURE in the women’s triathlon to take silver

Out of a tropical storm of grey and black came a blue, white and red bolt of towering resilience and talent. It wasn’t a gold medal that Georgia Taylor-Brown won on the shores of Tokyo Bay, but rarely has a silver looked so impressive.

What a remarkable performance, and what a nutty finale to a barmy race. 

The key point is this – she was flying along on the bike, part of a breakaway of five for the better part of 40km, when one of those Olympic twists of fate went against her. She punctured her rear tyre and it let the air right out of her party.

She dropped from the front of the lead group of five, and the other four women ahead became ever smaller on the horizon. By the time she ditched her faulty ride she was a full 22 seconds back and cooked.

But that run. She always had it in her legs to excel on that portion of the race, as one of the strongest runners in the field and the reigning world champion, but with that gap? And on the back of a secret injury of considerable severity that she only divulged after the medal ceremony? Goodness, the way she reeled them in was magnificent. 

Team GB's Georgia Taylor-Brown claimed silver in the women's triathlon on Monday in Tokyo

Team GB’s Georgia Taylor-Brown claimed silver in the women’s triathlon on Monday in Tokyo

Daley also said he hoped his victory would serve as an inspiration to young LGBT people. ‘I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion,’ explained Daley.

‘When I was younger I didn’t think I’d ever achieve anything because of who I was. I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone. You can achieve anything.’

Daley’s only regret was that his own inspirational father, Rob, was not alive to see his crowning moment, having died from a brain tumour in 2011.

‘I really wish that my dad was able to see me win any Olympic medal,’ said Daley. ‘When he passed away in 2011, it was extremely difficult for me.

‘He never got to see me compete in London or in Rio or here, but I know he would be extremely proud of how I have become an Olympic champion. It was always our dream growing up.’

Daley has only been diving with Lee since 2018. But they won world bronze the following year and were tipped for at least a podium place here after victories at the European Championships and a Tokyo test event in May.

But to do that they had to overcome the formidable world champion Chinese pair. Daley and Lee trailed Cao Yuan and Chen Aisen after three of six dives but an error by the favourites in the fourth round put the British duo ahead.

They were able to sustain that lead going into the final and most difficult dive, which they executed perfectly to score 101.01.

And that proved to be enough, despite an agonising wait to see the final result after Cao and Chen scored 101.52 with their last effort – meaning just 1.23 points separated the pairs.

‘We were waiting and hoping to see a two next to China’s name and when we did, I just lost my c***!’ said Lee, who was making his Olympics debut.

Lee first met Daley as a nine-year-old and admitted it was surreal to win gold with his hero, who even hung the medal around his partner’s neck.

‘When I was younger, I was a fan of Tom’s and I always watched him and idolised him and I wanted to be him basically,’ added Lee. ‘Now years on we are best mates and Olympic gold medallists. It is pretty crazy.’

Daley, who begins his individual event on Friday week, had previously said he would likely retire if he completed his gold medal mission. 

Yet when asked if that was still the case following Monday’s win, he admitted: ‘That’s kind of one of those things you say because you want to win an Olympic gold medal but never think you actually will.

‘No, I think I’m going to carry on. I’m definitely going to take a break after this. There are some beverages with my name on it to celebrate with my husband and family at home. But there’s only three years now to Paris, so we’ll see.’

Elsewhere Peaty described his 10-month old son as his ‘motivation, commitment and dedication’ after coming through the challenges of early parenthood to make history here in Tokyo.

The 26-year-old became the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title as he secured Team GB’s first gold of these Games in the early hours of Monday.

Peaty admitted the pandemic and the arrival of his baby boy George last September had thrown his preparation for the delayed Olympics completely off course as he adapted to sleepless nights and changing nappies.

But despite his hectic home life the ruthless world record holder kept his focus to maintain his utter domination of the 100metres breaststroke — winning gold in 57.37sec, more than half a second clear of Dutchman Arno Kamminga.

‘Going into this Olympics was very different and then throwing a baby in there, that upset things a little bit,’ said Peaty. ‘But looking at him every single day was my motivation, my commitment and my dedication. That’s what counted.

‘I sleep next to this little medallion out here and it’s a reminder of him and those hard moments when he was waking up every two hours for a nappy change or a feed. 

‘Some days, I woke up and was like, ‘F*** me, this is hard’. My eyes just got slowly heavier and heavier. I had these big bags. I was going to races to get some sleep!

Briton Peaty held his medal aloft and beamed during the medal ceremony after his triumph

Briton Peaty held his medal aloft and beamed during the medal ceremony after his triumph

Peaty dominated the field again to remain king of the pool and take Team GB's first gold medal

Peaty dominated the field again to remain king of the pool and take Team GB’s first gold medal

45939395 9828737 image a 116 1627371306194 Peaty and Eirianedd Munro with baby George before he set off on his Olympic odyssey

Peaty and Eirianedd Munro with baby George before he set off on his Olympic odyssey

Peaty's girlfriend Eiri and son George watch with pride as he collected his gold medal

Peaty’s girlfriend Eiri and son George watch with pride as he collected his gold medal

A clearly emotional Peaty celebrated wildly after coming home in first to retain his 2016 title

A clearly emotional Peaty celebrated wildly after coming home in first to retain his 2016 title

Peaty posed for the poolside cameras and had bowed to the crowd to acknowledge his victory

Peaty posed for the poolside cameras and had bowed to the crowd to acknowledge his victory

Andy Murray shows NO sign of the quad injury that forced him to pull out of the singles as he and Joe Salisbury win in straight sets AGAIN

Andy Murray shrugged off any injury concerns with his troublesome quad by cruising through to the third round of men’s doubles with Joe Salisbury.

A lot was made of Murray electing to pull out of the men’s tennis singles event against Felix Auger-Aliassime with Team GB medical staff urging him to choose either singles or doubles.

It appears he has made a shrewd choice partnering with Salisbury as they brushed aside German pair Kevin Krawietz, who is ranked No 15 in the world in doubles, and Tim Putz 6-2, 7-6.

The Team GB pair, who are yet to drop a set, raced into an early break but saw early momentum paused with rain and wind forcing temporary postponement of all tennis matches on outside courts. 

It was a miserable day in Tokyo, particularly in early morning, but Murray and Salisbury picked up exactly where they left off when play resumed. 

Murray and Salisbury had never played a competitive doubles match together prior to this tournament but look naturals alongside each other. 

Salisbury, world No 9 in doubles, is GB’s best doubles player and he had the pick of the bunch when it came to picking his partner.  

The journey had been equally hard for cyclist Pidcock, who broke his collarbone just eight weeks ago after being hit side-on by a car while training.

But he still made history yesterday as the boy nicknamed Tigger bounced to the top of the Tokyo podium to claim Britain’s first mountain biking gold medal.

The 21-year-old from Leedsm whose hero is Mark Cavendish, flew off rocks and hurtled around corners as he wound around the course in Izu in exhilarating fashion.

He overtook both an eight-time world champion and the world number one to secure victory in the men’s cross-country race.

And his 20-second lead gave him enough time to grab a Union Jack from the course’s edge and wave it as he crossed the finish line in tears.

Pidcock’s mother Sonja Harper, 53, who watched with husband Giles Pidcock, 54, from their home, said: ‘I’m feeling relieved and elated, and really emotional.

A bit sad we can’t be with Tom, and can’t celebrate tonight. I’ve been crying all morning but in the end, I just feel completely delighted for Tom after everything he’s done to get here.’

The cyclist shattered his collarbone into five pieces when he was hit by a car ahead of the Tour de Suisse in May. His coach said he was ‘catapulted over the car’.

But he was back on his bike six days after surgery and vowed that he would win in Tokyo. He said yesterday: ‘It’s been such a hard time coming here from crashing and breaking my collarbone and that’s just unbelievable.’

Continuing a trend of British athletes turning the air blue post-event, he added: ‘I’m happy this s*** is [the Olympics] only every four years because it’s f****** stressful.

‘I know that my mum and girlfriend are crying at home. It’s sad that they can’t be here but I see them when I get home.

‘It’s nothing like any other race. The Olympics just transcends any sport. You compete and represent your country and everyone in your country is behind you, no matter what sports they like.’

Pidcock’s victory is Great Britain’s first Olympic mountain biking medal of any colour.

Dutch pre-race favourite Mathieu van der Poel flipped over his handlebars after falling off rocks in the first lap. Pidcock, nicknamed Tigger by his family as he is always ‘bouncing around’, has devoted his life to the sport.

Mrs Harper, a fitness instructor, said: ‘It’s hard work, and it’s lonely. It’s eating right, sleeping right, missing your family all the time. It’s 24/7. He’s so dedicated to his training.’

Tom Pidcock won gold in the men's Olympic mountain bike race with a dominant performance

Tom Pidcock won gold in the men’s Olympic mountain bike race with a dominant performance

The 21-year-old took control on the fourth lap and pulled away to win by a huge 20 seconds

The 21-year-old took control on the fourth lap and pulled away to win by a huge 20 seconds

45939393 9828737 image a 18 1627383876946 Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel crashed very heavily early in the race in front of Pidcock

Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel crashed very heavily early in the race in front of Pidcock

Pidcock was emotional after the race as he embraced his coaching team by the finishing line

Pidcock was emotional after the race as he embraced his coaching team by the finishing line

The British rider's efforts ensured he could enjoy the victory during the finishing stretch

The British rider’s efforts ensured he could enjoy the victory during the finishing stretch

MARTIN SAMUEL: The bright, young faces and their Olympic triumphs are proving bigger than the fear and masks… Every moment an athlete is rewarded for a lifetime of toil and sacrifice, the joy washes over these Games

Tears streaming down their faces, Tom Daley and Matty Lee stood on the podium and, momentarily, dropped their masks for the cameras.

To their right, a misery of an official was signalling frantically to pull them up again. Daley and Lee were now mugging for that enduring image, biting the gold medal to make sure it was real. More waving, more gesticulating, increased agitation followed. This is the no-fun Games, remember, the no-fun zone.

Finally, the pair got the message. There was not a soul in the vicinity who had not competed, or stood in the athletes zone, unmasked around them. Yet rules are rules. The coverings went on again. A defining image of a joyless time.

And yet, clearly, in Tokyo joy is all around. Every time a race is run, each hour when a final classification is reached, every moment an athlete or team is rewarded for a lifetime of toil and sacrifice, the joy washes over these Games, a tsunami of raw emotion.

Adam Peaty, it transpires, was the only one who did not regard his breaststroke gold medal as a formality, given the way he went full Malcolm Tucker in his post-race interview. He spoke of a miserable time preparing for Tokyo during a pandemic: the 99.99 per cent spent in metaphorical darkness made worthwhile by this tiny sliver of light.

Meanwhile, Tom Pidcock had time to fly a Union flag over his head as he crossed the finishing line in the mountain bike cross country. He had also spent months preparing for the heat and humidity by training in an artificially warmed tent at home.

The pair eventually got the message and the face coverings went back on whilst on the podium

The pair eventually got the message and the face coverings went back on whilst on the podium

Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson finish second from BOTTOM in women’s 10m synchronised doubles diving final for Team GB

It was always going to be a tall order. Not only did Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson have to follow Tom Daley and Matty Lee’s stunning gold, they had to do so in an event that has only ever been won by the Chinese.

It may have been the same aquatics centre but it was, sadly, a very different story this afternoon.

The Yorkshire-London combo, 18 and 21, was against it from the off. After the first round they sat bottom of the eight participants. Already 10 points behind Jiaqi Zhang and Yuxi Chen, any dream of top spot already sunk.

By round three the gap was north of 40. Germany in third, 14 ahead, presented a realistic target. To put it into context, a GB female had not won a diving medal since Elizabeth Ferris took bronze at Rome 1960.

Heading into the final and most difficult round, they had moved above Malaysia but the Germans had stretched that gap to 19. It was as good as over.

In the end, they remained in seventh, with the US more than 50 points behind the Chinese in second and Mexico third. The shakes of the GB pair’s heads as they exited the pool at the end said it all.

To get to this stage is an incredible achievement. But while it may have been Team GB’s night here on Monday, it was not their day on Tuesday. 

Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson could not match Tom Daley and Matty Lee's gold

Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson could not match Tom Daley and Matty Lee’s gold

Imagine: a mountain bike champion, in a country that barely has a mountain. This was indeed a special morning.

The dominance of Pidcock, no rival in view as he pedalled his last torturous lap to glory, contrasted sweetly with the agony of Daley and Lee.

Having produced the dive sequence of their lives to establish themselves in gold medal position, they had to wait for the Chinese pair of Chen Aisen and Cao Yuan to complete. They needed a dive worth 9.6 and looked to have nailed it.

Daley’s grimace of recognition was then followed by perhaps the longest 22 seconds of his life, waiting for the judges’ verdict.

Not enough. British gold.

China were short a mere 1.23 points, in a sport in which the maximum score is 500.

That is the wonderful charm of the Olympics. It doesn’t even need actual sport to make it compelling. We can be spellbound waiting for validation, or on hearing a moving personal narrative. It is the ultimate reality television, because so many of its stars are plucked from relative anonymity.

Who had heard of Pidcock before turning on the television at breakfast time?

He is a 21-year-old cyclo-cross specialist from Leeds, a member of Sir Dave Brailsford’s Ineos Grenadiers, but not competing in the high-profile cycling events that capture the headlines — although he plainly could.

Now, though, he is part of Team GB’s own Magic Monday — a branding that must have taken the marketing department all of three seconds to coin, after Super Saturday in 2012.

And, like reality television, so much is invested in the back stories of these individuals. Their journeys, their heartaches, their struggles, their pain. We meet their families, we visit their proud provincial homelands.

Gareth Southgate, manager of England’s football team, won widespread praise for humanising the players in his squad in the eyes of the public. He worked hard to change perceptions.

Yet, for Olympians, from the same humble origins but without football’s wealth and excess, this connection comes naturally. The wider public might not flock to Peaty’s sport but they know where he is from, they relate to his background, his beginnings at Dove Valley Swimming Club in Uttoxeter.

Even so, it was Daley’s victory that inspired the strongest emotions. We have known him since he was a kid, or at least we think we have. We have followed his career since he was 14 in Beijing, four Olympiads ago. 

We have followed him through family tragedy, through intense personal revelations, through his activism, through building a family. He could bring out a book of crochet patterns after this and it would be a bestseller.

And Daley will not have been the only one in tears on Monday morning. An out, gay, Olympic champion is still not so common that it is not worth celebrating.

So that was the hope and it came true for Team GB: that the athletes would endure, that sport would win. That once the event got under way, the steady stream of bright, young faces, their triumphs and sometimes even their disappointments, would be bigger than the fear, the IOC politics, the rules, the masks, the eerie silences that pervade some arenas, the us, the them.

Monday was the day it all came together. Three gold medals — and that was just for breakfast.

After so long in darkness, it truly was a kind of magic.

JONATHAN McEVOY: Adam Peaty joins Sebastian Coe and Daley Thompson in the pantheon of the greatest British Olympians of ALL time – after another dominant gold medal in the pool

Adam Peaty looked down at his gold medal and then turned his eyes to the heavens. Relieved and jubilant in equal measure, the mighty swimmer had secured his place among all the greatest British Olympians who went before.

He thumped his hands through the water in delight. He sat on a lane rope, as he did in Rio, emotional yet still wearing the animalistic mask of competitiveness that had not yet given way to the warmer, down-to-earth character he saves for when he’s not working.

By winning the 100m breaststroke, the 26-year-old became the first Briton to win two successive gold medals in the pool. It was instructive to observe the aura of this master. Pre-race, his name was called and in he walked, a towel around his neck.

At 6ft 3in and 13st 7lb of near pure muscle, a serious expression across his face, tattoos down both arms, he seemed as big and fierce as Typhon.

The supporting cast might have been off to the abattoir rather than their blocks. Everyone is diminished to the rank of a stat in the shadow of the Uttoxeter-born star.

It is hard to think of many sportsmen Britain has sent to an Olympic Games who have so entirely dominated their field for so long. Daley Thompson, the great decathlete who went undefeated from 1978 to 1987, is one of very few. To be mentioned in the same breath as him adds a line to Peaty’s glory.

He is undefeated in seven years, has broken the world record on five occasions and has swum the 17 fastest times in history. Nobody is within one second of his personal best.

He has taken the world record through the 58sec barrier. Then through 57sec. His current world record stands at 56.88sec but that is not the summit of his ambition. 

He is working on his self-styled ‘Project Immortal’ push for improvement and who can say he won’t touch the wall for the last time having recorded a figure starting with 55. And to think that only Monday’s runner-up Arno Kamminga has ever breached 58sec!

To expose Peaty’s achievements to context is to laud them more. Adrian Moorhouse swam 1min 2.04sec to win gold in Seoul 1988. Even in a sport that doesn’t allow the ink to dry on its records this is a remarkable pace of change, brought about by a force of nature.

Other British Olympic legends have clocked up multiple world records, but not many as serially as Peaty. One comparison is Seb Coe, another double gold medal hero, who set 11 in his career, including three in 41 days as a 22-year-old in the summer of 1979. As with Thompson, it is the grandest company to keep.

Peaty is now comparable to previous Olympic stars who have enjoyed great success like Daley Thompson (pic) Seb Coe set 11 world records in his career

To be mentioned in the same breath as Daley Thompson (L) and Seb Coe (R) shows his class

Team GB men’s hockey are THRASHED by Germany to lose their 100 per cent start at Tokyo Games

Florian Fuchs stole the show in the wind and rain as his hat-trick helped Germany bring Team GB’s 100 per cent start in the men’s hockey to an abrupt end.

Wins over Canada and South Africa had put GB in a commanding position in Pool B but this was a significant step up in class and it showed with the second half collapse, led by a Fuchs masterclass. 

Phil Roper gave Team GB the lead with a fine finish into the bottom right corner as he approached the top of the D to cap a fine first quarter.

But it was all downhill from there as Germany equalised nine seconds before the end of the first quarter as Fuchs tapped home at the back post following a penalty corner.

After a goalless second quarter, Jan Ruhr then flicked an incredible effort over Ollie Payne and into the roof of the net as the Germans completed the turnaround in the third.

That caused a total GB collapse, as Justus Weigand scored seven minutes later, before a ruthless counter saw Fuchs claim a second.

Fuchs however was not denied his hat-trick, as a penalty corner saw him on hand again as GB were completely overwhelmed in their men’s Pool B fixture.

GB’s next pool fixture sees them face the Netherlands on Thursday before they come up against Belgium a day later. 

Peaty is a physical specimen well-equipped for his profession, with double-jointed ankles that turn out and hyperextended knees. But it has taken a phenomenal work ethic to chisel and expand the gifts nature bestowed upon him. 

This he has done, looking down at a line on the floor for kilometre after kilometre, and in tearing up the gym’s heavy weights. He stuffs 8,000 calories a day. ‘All the darkness for a moment of light,’ he said of his golden reward for the toil.

As for the pull, kick and glide of his stroke, he is immaculate. As Kamminga, who is in a position to verify this claim, said: ‘He is something special. When he races he is on another level because he executes his stroke so technically well. He doesn’t make mistakes in competition. It is perfect.’ 

As long as he didn’t false start, you would have bet the last flight out of Tokyo that he would prevail. And he simply raced superbly against nothing but his own demands, the clock and the weight of beckoning history.

It was far from his fastest time, 57.37sec, with Kamminga 58 dead. But that has been the pattern at the pool. No crowds don’t help anyone, not least Peaty, who rises to big occasions just as Thompson did in excelsis. 

There is also the curse of morning finals, often after late rounds the evening before. The early scheduling is for NBC in America. He who pays the IOC billions in TV revenue calls the tune.

The timing meant that when Peaty let the f-word slip out live on the BBC a minute or two after winning it was about 3.30am — well after the watershed. Later in the day than when Sir Steve Redgrave set champagne corks flying as he rowed to a fifth gold in Sydney 21 years ago.

So where does Peaty stand in the pantheon? It is apples and pears. How can you conclusively say Redgrave’s quintet is better than Coe’s two golds in an individual event of a global sport, and the blue riband one at that? But for longevity in a power-endurance endeavour, Redgrave’s feats are mighty impressive.

Others have numerous golds, such as Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny (six each) and Sir Bradley Wiggins (five), Sir Ben Ainslie, Sir Matt Pinsent and Laura Kenny (four each). Sir Mo Farah won two serious athletics golds twice, yet set just one world record, in the one hour.

Who can divine an answer? It is impossible. For now we merely celebrate Peaty, who here lived up to our almost intolerable expectations. That is enough.

Tuesday’s full Olympic schedule: Simone Biles go for her first of six possible Olympic gold medals in Tokyo

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/olympics/article-9828737/Tom-Dean-Duncan-Scott-win-Olympic-gold-silver-medals-Team-GB-mens-200m-freestyle.html