British Olympic history continues to be made at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre as the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay team claimed a brilliant gold medal in the pool.
That means Team GB have won three swimming golds at a single Games for the first time since 1908 – also the last time a British quartet climbed the top step of the 4x200m freestyle relay podium.
After Tom Dean and Duncan’s Scott historic one-two in the individual event on Tuesday, Team GB were favourites heading into the relay – having also qualified fastest from the semi-finals – but Olympic finals are never won on paper.
Thankfully, however, this one followed the form book as the four Brits delivered a tour de force performance.
Dean led the team out, touching third at the end of his 200m, before James Guy overhauled the swimmers in front to put Team GB in the lead and 18-year-old Matt Richards – who pulled out of the individual 100m freestyle event to focus on the relay – maintained the advantage.
That gave three-time Olympic silver medallist Scott an anchor-leg lead that he never looked likely to relinquish, finally securing that elusive gold when he touched for a European record time of 6:58.58.
Finishing ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee and Australia, the British quartet were within 0.03 seconds of the world record.
The celebrations, with Guy once again in tears, spoke to the magnitude of the moment as Team GB’s swimming class of Tokyo 2020 continue to rip up the record books.
In picking up his second gold medal of the Games, Dean becomes the first British male to win double Olympic swimming gold in 113 years, when Henry Taylor won three at London 1908.
Tom Dean, 21, from Maidenhead, said:
James Guy, 25, from Bury, Greater Manchester, said:
Matt Richards, 18, from Droitwich, said:
Duncan Scott, 24, from Glasgow, said:
Source: Team GB