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Steve Parry: It’s scary how good Olympic champion Tom Dean is

Olympian and BBC 5 Live commentator Steve Parry gives his reaction to Tom Dean’s gold and another history-making display from Team GB.

Steve Parry hailed the incredible strength of Tom Dean after he bounced back from two bouts of Covid to win an Olympic gold medal – as Team GB sealed an historic one-two.

Dean triumphed in the Men’s 200m Freestyle by 0.04 seconds from his good friend Duncan Scott to help Britain secure gold and silver in an Olympic swimming final for the first time since 1908.

And it was the double success and the fact Dean had to spend seven weeks out of the pool as he recovered from coronavirus which impressed Parry so much.

He said: “That was absolutely brilliant – I loved it.

“I can’t believe you can have that amount of time off and perform like he [Dean] did. 

“Clearly Dave McNulty has coached down in Bath who has produced a long list of talent in Michael Jamieson, Jo Jackson and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor – but I think this is the performance to top the lot. 

“I think Sunwoo Hwang really helped him out. He went off in world record pace, not that it acted like a slingshot, but it might have helped Tom pacing his race.

“But to do a best time, a British record, in the morning even at at an Olympic Games – we haven’t not seen many people manage to produce their best in the morning.

“Both guys were absolutely brilliant. Duncan in the middle lanes as well put together a really well-planned race. They were pretty much identical, only four one hundredths of a second between the two of them and the touch just going to Tom.

“Tom, especially with the time off he’s had this year with two bouts of Covid, to be able to do that, it’s scary how good he is at 21 years of age and he’s already been top of the medal podium at the Olympic Games.”

Parry praised the character of Scott after he was quick to acknowledge the performance of Dean straight after the race.

“Duncan is a class act,” he said. “An absolute class act.

“To be so gracious about his team mate speaks volumes of the sort of character he is.

“He is a really good man and I think that shows signs of a true champion to be honest.”

Parry is also predicting more medal success for Team GB.

The squad has already doubled the number of golds it won in Rio 2016 and Parry thinks the overall medal tally will also be eclipsed.

He said: “The biggest thing for me was the one-two as it’s 113 years since that’s been achieved, plus two gold medals in the space of 24 hours at the Olympics.

Looking positive

“I think we will beat the volume of medals as well from Rio. 

“I said I don’t know where the second gold was going to come from but there might a third as well now as that 4x200m Freestyle team is looking ridiculously strong.

“The big guns of Russia and America only had one inside the top 16. There is a lot of work to be done but it’s looking positive.”

Parry said a medal is up for grabs for Abbie Wood and Alicia Wilson after they both qualified for the 200m Individual Medley final.

They will swim at 3.45am UK time on Wednesday 28 July.

Parry added: “The interesting thing is that Katinka Hosszu is off the pace and that’s good news for Abbie and Alicia.

“I’m saying it quietly but there might be a medal up for grabs as well.”

He also said Kathleen Dawson was ‘unfortunate’ to come up against the three best backstrokers in the world in her 100m final – and insisted Freya Anderson would bounce back after she missed out on a place in the 200m Freestyle final.

“Kathleen come up against the three best backstrokers of all time in her race – all of which broke the world record three times in the last two years,” said Parry.

“She is so unfortunate she has come up against the best backstrokers of our time in that one race.

“But she has had an amazing year and should be proud of what she has done – and she has a shot of medals in the mixed medley relay.

“I think Freya wanted some good stuff from the 200m free but she is quality and her time will come for sure.”