Tom Daley missed out on the Olympic gold he has long coveted in the men’s 10 metres platform event as he won bronze despite a near-faultless display in the final.
Daley topped the podium alongside Matty Lee in the synchronised competition was one of the most enduring feelgood stories of Tokyo 2020 as he ended a 13-year wait for glory at the Games, but solo success continues to be elusive.
He led at the halfway stage after three successive 90-plus points scores but dipped below that standard of excellence with an 80.5 from his armstand back three somersaults with pike, which saw him slip off the pace.
While Daley rallied in his last two dives, an overall score of 548.25 was only good enough for a third-place finish as Cao Yuan (582.35) took the gold medal, with Chinese compatriot Yang Jian (580.4) collecting silver.
“I’m so happy,” Daley said afterwards. “Back in May I didn’t know if I would make it to the Games. If someone had told me then I’d win a gold and a bronze I would probably have laughed in their face. I’m extremely happy with a gold and a bronze and I’m so overwhelmed with all the love and support back home. It was close all the way through [the final] with the Chinese pair but they pulled away from me in the fourth round.”
Daley, 27, is keeping an open mind about his future after his successful Games in Tokyo. “I’m going to take a break now but I’m feeling better, I feel like I’m a different athlete, so we’ll see,” he added.