‘Unstoppable mentality’ helps Tom Daley and Matty Lee to Olympic title

Tom Daley and Matty Lee said an ‘unstoppable mentality’ helped them to produce the performance of their careers to win Olympic gold. 

At his fourth Games, Daley became the first British diver to win three Olympic medals – with Lee claiming gold on his debut appearance.

They scored 471.81 points to finish 1.23 clear of the Chinese pair – and favourites for the title – Yuan Ao and Aisen Chen.

And Daley said he couldn’t believe what they had achieved.

“A lot of people would probably have counted me out of this competition being the older person,” he said.

“I have been diving more than 20 years and to finally have this gold medal – I still can’t believe what’s happening. I didn’t think I was going to get here in the first place.

“I’m in the best shape physically and mentally and with the support of Matty,  coming into this competition we’ve just had that unstoppable mentality.

“It’s the first time been able to think like that we are the ones to beat. I still can’t believe what’s happening.

“Stood at that rostrum about to be announced as Olympic champions and then hear the national anthem play, I was gone – I couldn’t even sing. I was halfway singing and then blubbering I just can’t believe it.

Lee added: “All year I have been thinking about the gold Olympic medal – and trying not to think about it.

“To be able to share my first Olympics with Tom and to get a gold medal and help be a part of this gold medal is special – I can’t believe we have done it.”

It was an immaculate display throughout from Daley and Lee who didn’t put a foot wrong in all six dives.

They were were third at the halfway stage but climbed to the top after round four with a 5.22 point advantage after Ao and Chen made an uncharacteristic error – while Daley and Lee scored 93.96 points for their back three-and-a-half somersaults.

The gap had been closed after round five with Daley and Lee 1.74 points ahead.

So proud

They had scored 89.6 for their reverse three-and-a-half somersaults, while Ao and Chen picked up 93.24 for their forward four-and-a-half somersaults.

The British duo saved their best to last, however, as they scored 101.01 points for their forward four-and-a-half somersaults – the world’s hardest ranked dive.

It left them in top spot but they faced an anxious wait to see if they would hold onto the gold – or whether Ao and Chen would cruelyl snatch it from them on their final dive of the competition.

And although they scored 101.52 for their back two-and-a-half somersaults with two-and-a-half twists, it left them 1.23 points short and sparked joyous celebrations from the British team.

Daley was quick to praise Lee for his display.

He told him: “I’m just so proud of you for holding that together.

“I felt I was going to crumble at lots of points in that competition but Matty was in the zone. 

“I said to Matty everything has fallen into place and we found that sense of flow. 

“We didn’t say a lot to each other we just knew what we had to do to get the job done.”