Tom Dean's mother, Jacquie Hughes, and sister, Connie Dean, talk to ITV News about the momentous win
Tom Dean has won the gold medal in the men’s 200 metres freestyle with Great Britain team-mate Duncan Scott finishing second at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Dean, who twice contracted coronavirus last year, was third heading into the final 50 metres while Scott was down in sixth at the halfway stage, but the pair finished strongly.
Dean finished in a time of one minute and 44.22 seconds, edging out his British compatriot by 0.04secs, with Brazil’s Fernando Scheffer claiming bronze a further 0.4s back.
Dean describes suffering from severe Covid six months before the Olympics
Dean said after his victory, the first time we have taken gold and silver in the pool in one race since 1908, that he wanted to thank everyone back home for their support.
Dean admitted winning Olympic gold seemed a “million miles off” when he contracted coronavirus for a second time at the start of this year.
Brother William and sister Nancy describe the moment they watched Tom win gold
His symptoms were much more severe then, telling the BBC prior to the Games that he could not walk up the stairs “without coughing and wheezing”, but he credited his coach David McNulty for lifting him when he was at his lowest.Of the race, he said: “I knew it was going to be a dogfight. I didn’t know how people were going to swim it.
At around 3am GMT, Dean's family and friends in Maidenhead watch him become an Olympic champion
“I just want to say thanks to everyone back home. I’m just lost for words. It’s amazing."
The champion went on: “I contracted Covid twice in the last 12 months, in the last season. I had six or seven weeks out during an Olympic year which is essentially unheard of.
“When I was sitting in my flat in isolation, Olympic gold seemed like a million miles off. But here we are.”
Silver medalist Duncan Scott said: “I’m buzzing for Deano. He’s had a really strange 18 months with Covid twice. To see him win gold… I can’t complain. There’s plenty of things I’d be able to do better. But I’m really happy.
“We’re in an apartment together. We get on really well, if that’s playing cards or watching films together. The 4×200 boys in Britain have a really good connection. We’re mates out of the pool first and competitors.
“Our 4×200 is looking in great shape. I think that puts us in a great spot but we can’t get complacent the way we swam individually.”
He added: “It’s the biggest medal of my individual career.
“I was coming in really confident. I could maybe have done the second 50 a lot better, maybe built to the wall a bit better. There’s so many different strategies in that 200m free. It was a dogfight.”