Tokyo 2020 - ‘I was quite emotional’ - emotional James Guy sacrifices individual glory for sensational team relay gold
Guy produced a superb butterfly leg to bring home gold - and a world record - for Britain in a brilliantly entertaining 4x100m mixed relay final. The 25-year-old pulled out of the 100m butterfly - an event he could have won a medal in - to concentrate instead on the relay, and it paid off. You want it? We have it. Stream every Olympic event live on discovery+.
'Wow! He's literally flying!' - Guy's 'incredible' swim that inspired GB to relay glory
James Guy has shown multiple times at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that he is a team player - but previous efforts were put in the shade by his sensational butterfly leg to help Britain win gold in the 4x100m mixed medley.
Having already helped Team GB to 4x100m freestyle success, he then sacrificed the 100m butterfly - an event he could have become an individual medallist in - to put the mixed relay team first. The gamble paid off and now he is also a world record holder and double Olympic champion.
Guy was in floods of tears in the stands when Tom Dean and Duncan Scott pulled off a brilliant one-two in the 200m freestyle final earlier this week, before he broke down again when he claimed his first gold of the Games.
As a world bronze medalist in the 100m butterfly, he had a great chance to win a first individual Olympic medal in the event. But the final was due off just over an hour before the mixed medley relay final - and he had a decision to make.
Guy says he cried again when he opted to concentrate on the greater good of the team, and GB were rewarded when he took the team from fourth when he entered the pool to a resounding lead. Kathleen Dawson was sixth after her opening backstroke leg, but Adam Peaty brought the team back into contention with his breaststroke effort - though he was still in fourth when he handed over to Guy.
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But the 25-year-old then produced a sensational fly in 50 seconds dead, taking the team from fourth to a resounding lead, allowing Anna Hopkin to bring the team home in the freestyle with a world record time of 3:37.58.
“It was a hard decision to make after the 4 by 2 winning gold, the dream come true, then having a chat with my coach and saying, listen, we might have to park the 100 fly because we could do something special in the relays,” he told Eurosport.
“After all that work of doing the back end pace over and over and over again, I was quite emotional.
But what’s meant to be, will be - what’s meant for you will not pass you by and luckily pulling out of the 100 fly it did work, my split was great.
“Hopefully at the worlds next year I can fight for the medals again - who cares about that now, we won, we got the world record.
“To do this with one of my best mates in Adam and the two girls, we’re all northerners – it’s amazing!"
On commentary, former British swimmer Lizzie Simmonds was stunned by Guy’s race: "What a warrior to bring it back and a stupendous effort from Anna Hopkin. Great Britain eating that world record for breakfast, what an unbelievable swim. I'm shaking!"
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