Adam Peaty said he hoped his gold medal in the 100m breaststroke would start a gold rush, and it has. In the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Tuesday morning his two British teammates, Tom Dean and Duncan Scott, took gold and silver in the men’s 200m freestyle.
Dean, 21, won the race in a new national record of 1min 44.22sec. Scott, 24, was a finger-tip behind him, and won silver in 1min 44.26sec. They were the two fastest 200m freestyle swims in British history. Brazil’s Fernando Schaffer took third.
Scott was the favourite going into the race, but Dean benefitted from being out in lane six, where he was just inside South Korea’s Sunwoo Hwang, who covered the first 150m in world record pace. Hwang flagged after the final turn, while Dean pressed on past him into the lead. By the final 25m, it was between him and Scott, who was closing fast, but not quite fast enough. Great Britain had only ever won one gold in this event, back in 1908, which was also the last time the team had a one-two in the pool.
The performances make Great Britain favourites for the 4x200m freestyle relay later this week. Scott also has a strong chance in the 200m individual medley. Their teammate Kathleen Dawson finished sixth in the women’s 100m backstroke, behind Australia’s Kaylee McKeown.
Dean said: “I knew it was going to be a dogfight. I didn’t know how people were going to swim it. I just want to say thanks to everyone back home. I’m just lost for words. It’s amazing.”
Scott said: “A massive credit to Dean. That was unbelievable. Olympic champion. He’s come along so far in the last 18 mesi, it’s a pleasure to watch. It’s great to be able to say he’s a good mate out of the pool and it’s great to be able to compete against him as well.”