Tom Daley and Matty Lee strike gold in synchronised 10m platform final

Team GB duo clinch top-spot after stunning duel with People's Republic of China's CAO Yuan and CHEN Aisen.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Tom Daley and Matty Lee have made history by winning Great Britain’s first gold medal in the men's synchronised 10m after a thrilling duel with CAO Yuan and CHEN Aisen of the People's Republic of China.

In a nail-biting final, Daley and partner Lee delivered a breath-taking last dive - a forward 4½ Somersaults - to give the British pair a six-round total of 471.81, just 1.23 points ahead of silver medallists Cao and Chen at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

ROC's Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev took bronze with 439.92.

For Daley, 27, the win marks a first gold medal at his fourth Olympics, while Lee achieved the accolade in his first.

"To finally have this gold medal ... I’ve been diving for 20 years, it’s my fourth Olympic Games," he said.

"Lots of people would have counted me out, being the older person, but I’m in the best shape physically.

"I still can't honestly believe what is happening," he added. "That moment, being about to be announced as Olympic champions, I was gone. I was blubbering."

The British pair have been in imperious form as of late. They won European and World Cup titles, before continuing their hot streak at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

They were pushed all the way by Chinese pair, who scored the most points in five of the six dives.

At the halfway stage, Cao and Chen had a 15.30-point lead over the British divers, and it looked as if Chen would retain the Olympic title he won in Rio in 2016 with LIN Yue.

But a low-scoring dive – a Back 3½ Somersaults – in the fourth round cost the Chinese pair dearly.

Daley - who won a synchronised bronze medal in Rio with Dan Goodfellow - and Lee held their nerve, and form, to overtake their rivals and continue their faultless journey towards the gold.

It was a close finish, with the Chinese pairing scoring a huge 101.52 for their final dive. But this was not enough to overtake Daley and Lee, who had scored 101.01 for their last dive to finish on 471.81.

"For the whole performance, we got 470 points, so the points are okay." said Cao. "However, we didn't get the [gold] medal so we're quite disappointed."

"We are a little bit disappointed that we had some mistakes, especially in the fourth round, which led us to have some low points.

"However, the competition has finished, so we have to face it and keep going."

On the performance of the British divers, Cao was full of praise.

"They performed very well. Although we made some mistakes, they were not affected but it, and they kept doing their best, with no mistakes.

"So today, the British divers did very well."

After winning a well-deserved Olympic gold, Daley will take on Cao in the men’s individual 10m platform, which begins on 6 August.