This time, Duncan Scott had no downside sharing a stage with the winner of the gold medal. Actually, there was nobody he would reasonably have stood subsequent to on the rostrum than his room-mate and shut good friend, Tom Dean.
It was on the 2019 World Championships in South Korea the place Scott triggered a stir by refusing to hitch Chinese language drug cheat Solar Yang on the platform after claiming the bronze medal behind him, resulting in an unsightly trade. Two years on and in the identical 200metres freestyle occasion, there couldn’t have been extra love by the aspect of the pool, as two Brits shared hugs, handshakes and historical past.
Not since Henry Taylor and Thomas Battersby in 1908 — when the competitors occurred in an outside pool on an athletics discipline — had there been a British one-two in Olympic swimming. However 4 monarchs, 20 prime ministers and 113 years later, Dean and Scott wrote their title into the report books in Tokyo, persevering with the gold rush began by Adam Peaty, who was watching from the stands.
Tom Dean (R) and Duncan Scott (L) secured an historic one-two for Staff GB in 200m freestyle
Dean, who took gold, embraces Scott following the pair’s exceptional triumph in Tokyo
Dean, 21, touched the wall in a British report time of 1min 44.22sec, simply 4 hundredths of a second forward of Scott, 24, and turning the tables on the team-mate who had crushed him by 0.11sec on the nationwide trials in April.
Such are the superb margins between the pair, this could possibly be a rivalry for the ages, one which turns into swimming’s reply to the tussles between British distance runners Seb Coe and Steve Ovett within the early Nineteen Eighties.
But it stated all the things about their bromance off the blocks that Scott’s first thought when he hauled himself out of the water to talk to tv was to pay tribute to ‘Deano’.
‘He has come up to now within the final 18 months and it’s a pleasure to look at,’ stated the magnanimous Scott, who was the marginal favorite coming into the ultimate and provides a silver to the 2 he gained in relays at Rio 2016.
‘We’re in an house collectively and we get on rather well. We’re mates outdoors of the pool first after which we’re opponents as properly. I do not assume I’ve shared the rostrum earlier than with a fellow team-mate, so to do it with him was particular. Our greatest potential consequence is one-two and we delivered on that.’
New champion Dean stated: ‘Duncan and I are nice mates — he is a category act. I’ve appeared as much as him for a very long time. To share a podium with him is wonderful.
‘It is a dream come true to have an Olympic gold round my neck and to go one-two with one other Brit on the rostrum, what extra might you ask for?’
The pair have grow to be nice mates, and can cherish their momentous achievement without end
The dimensions of Dean’s achievement may be highlighted by the actual fact he’s simply the second British man after Peaty to have gained an Olympic title in 33 years, in addition to being the primary male freestyler to win gold for Staff GB since Taylor in 1908.
And that he has joined the stellar record of Olympic champions within the 200m freestyle, which incorporates all-time greats Mark Spitz, Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps, is all of the extra exceptional when you think about what he has come by way of.
As lately as January, the 6ft 4in swimmer contracted a ‘extreme’ bout of Covid — the second time he had examined constructive in 4 months — and couldn’t stroll up the steps with out ‘coughing and wheezing’. He was ‘frightened’ concerning the long-term harm the virus was doing to his lungs, to not point out how he would get well in time to get to his first Video games.
‘I used to be one of many first athletes in any British Olympic sport to contract Covid twice in such a brief area of time, so there have been fairly a couple of query marks round it,’ Dean admitted. ‘Once I was sitting in my flat throughout Olympic yr, an Olympic gold appeared 1,000,000 miles off.’
Informal observers might have thought the identical about Dean’s gold medal probabilities no matter Covid, given he was not even chosen for the 200m freestyle on the World Championships two years in the past. However his big private finest at April’s trials, adopted by a bronze behind Scott on the Europeans in Could, prompt he was a medal contender right here in Tokyo. That he was capable of land the large one, although, climbing up from third on the final size, nonetheless got here as one thing of a shock.
Dean touched the wall 4 hundredths of a second forward of Scott on Tuesday in Tokyo
And it was as in style a victory on the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, the place his relay team-mate James Man wept within the stands, because it was in Maidenhead, the place a big group of his family and friends gathered in his mum’s backyard and wildly celebrated his win earlier than three within the morning.
‘It is the only biggest achievement of my life,’ stated Dean, who cried as he sang the nationwide anthem behind his masks.
‘I used to be barely emotional as a result of I could not lookup within the stands and see my household and buddies and my girlfriend.
‘That was what made it robust, however I do know they have been watching at house. I have been occupied with this since I began swimming once I was eight years previous.
‘I used to be on vacation throughout the Beijing Olympics and I keep in mind watching Phelps simply completely clear up. In 2012, I used to be fortunate sufficient to look at a race. And right here I’m in Tokyo — I’ve gained the 200 freestyle!’
Dean had been learning for a level in mechanical engineering on the College of Tub earlier than deferring his second yr to give attention to his Olympic ambitions.
Requested when he may now return to his research, he held the golden gong round his neck and grinned: ‘I feel this type of modifications my plans barely.’
Dean despatched family and friends again house right into a frenzy after claiming Olympic gold medal