Team GB swimmer Tom Dean becomes Olympic champion after battling Covid twice

27 July 2021, 10:49 | Updated: 27 July 2021, 10:52

By Sophie Barnett

Team GB have secured their first ever one-two finish in an Olympic swimming event for 113 years, with Tom Dean storming to victory in a dramatic finale after battling back from Covid twice.

Dean produced the performance of his life to take home the gold medal in the final of the men's 200m freestyle on day four of the Olympic Games, narrowly beating his teammate, Duncan Scott.

He clocked a national record time of one minute and 44.22 seconds in Tokyo, as he and Scott became the first two British male swimmers to share a podium since the 1908 Games.

But it wasn't a smooth journey for Dean - who was struck down with Covid earlier this year for the second time, putting his Olympic dream in jeopardy.

Speaking after his victory, Dean said: "I did have it [coronavirus] twice, the second time in the new year and the second time much worse than the first. I was quite ill for about 10 days, and I served the whole isolation period.

"It was then a slow build back up because of the nature of the sport we do, and the nature of the disease that you can't go straight back into full on training.

"That was around January February time, and you know, two or three months out from our Olympic trials and I’m stuck inside unable to even exercise inside my own flat. So, it was tough to kind of wrap my head around that during the Olympic year, but my coach managed to keep me grounded and built me back up for a good Olympic trials, and we were able to have a solid block between then and now - and it paid off."

Team GB are enjoying their most successful ever start to an Olympics.

Three more medals have been won so far on day four to take the total up to 10 - with four gold, five silver and one bronze.