Tokyo Olympics: Daley wins bronze in men’s 10m platform as Cao makes history

‘You superhero!’ – Daley wins 10m platform bronze
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Great Britain’s Tom Daley won bronze in the men’s 10m platform diving following an enthralling final at Tokyo 2020.

The 27-year-old was in a three-way tussle for gold but Chinese pair Cao Yuan and Yang Jian were in impressive form and took the top two spots respectively.

Daley ended a long wait for gold alongside Matty Lee in a nerve-filled men’s synchronised 10m platform final last week.

He looked relaxed and focused throughout this final and celebrated poolside after securing a fourth Olympic medal – a third bronze – in his fourth Games.

“I am so happy these Olympics has gone the way it has,” Daley told BBC Sport. “I feel I am a different athlete and to finally get here…

“I always dreamed I would but if someone told me I was going to win a gold and a bronze I would have laughed in their faces!

“I want to say a massive thank you to everyone back home, particularly my husband Lance. He’s been my rock, has put up with me and sacrificed so much.

“I wish my dad was here to have seen me at these Olympics, winning two medals. He would be jumping up, he’d probably be in the pool by now! I am so overwhelmed with all the love and support back home.

“I’m going to take a bit of a break from diving. I am feeling better, doing better and my body’s doing good, so… we will see.”

Cao, 26, becomes the first athlete to win Olympic gold in three different diving events, also doing so in the 10m synchronised event in London and the 3m individual in Rio.

But the Chinese pair needed to produce near-perfect performances to pip Daley, who got off to a brilliant start and led after three rounds.

A small mistake in his fourth dive ultimately proved costly but Daley received applause from his competitors in round five before two stunning finales from Cao and Yang ensured they remained top of the podium.

There was relief from Daley as he waved to the camera, shouted a message to those back home and hugged his coach at the end of the event.

It caps off a memorable Games for the Briton, who showed an outpouring of emotion when he won gold alongside Lee last week and vowed to enjoy his last performance in Tokyo.

Daley’s memorable Games end in glory

The Making of Tom Daley – from childhood star to father & husband

Daley’s Olympic dream began at the age of just 11, when he told BBC Sport he wanted to win gold.

Sixteen years later his ambition was finally fulfilled when he and Lee secured the synchronised 10m platform title.

There were tears pouring from his eyes during the medal ceremony and he was overwhelmed in interviews as the pressure appeared to be released.

Daley was a world champion at 15 and twice won Olympic bronze before adding this latest one in Japan.

But he has overcome struggles outside the pool. He was bullied at school, his father died in 2011 and Daley revealed his sexuality in 2013.

Now he is a father himself, Britain’s most decorated diver and one of sport’s highest-profile gay athletes, making him a role model for others in the LGBTQ+ community.

Olympic gold medallist Tom Daley was spotted knitting in the stands at the women’s 3m springboard final

Daley has taken all that in his stride in Tokyo and has been able to enjoy himself in a way the British public has not always seen.

The TV cameras caught him knitting during the women’s 3m springboard final – which caused a stir on social media – and he revealed his masterpiece a few days later… an Olympic-themed woolly jumper.

Daley carried that relaxed mentality into this 10m platform final and was smiling and waving between dives.

His latest achievements add to his legacy, but he can leave Tokyo as an Olympic champion for the first time and ends on a high.

‘Relief of winning gold is huge’ – analysis

Chris Mears, 2016 Olympic diving gold medallist on BBC TV:

It really has been an incredible Olympics for Tom Daley. He’s got a different perspective on life and it looks like he’s enjoying himself.

The relief of winning the gold is huge – it’s his fourth Olympics, but maybe there will be fire in the belly for another go. It’s not four years away… it’s only three!

You do a dive, good or bad, and you have to move on to the next one. After the setback of the last round, he comes back in the fifth dive. He’s very good at putting himself in his competition zone.

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