Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Tom Dean hopes his Olympic champion status plays on mind of rivals in Paris

Tom Dean wants five medals at the Paris Olympics (Peter Byrne/PA)
Tom Dean wants five medals at the Paris Olympics (Peter Byrne/PA)

Tom Dean is counting on his aura giving him an added edge at this summer’s Olympics as he chases history on two fronts in Paris.

Dean joined an illustrious list including Mark Spitz, Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps by pipping close friend and British team-mate Duncan Scott to gold in the men’s 200 metres freestyle at Tokyo 2020.

As well as seeking to become the first man to retain that title, Dean has eyes on winning five medals in the French capital and usurping Scott as Britain’s most decorated athlete at a single Games.

Tom Dean won two golds at Tokyo 2020 (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Tom Dean won two golds at Tokyo 2020 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Having already made a name for himself on the grandest stage, the Bath-based 23-year-old has noticed a shift in attitudes from his rivals and hopes to use it to his advantage in six months’ time.

“I’ll always be announced as Olympic champion,” Dean told the PA news agency. “I’ll be announced as reigning Olympic champion heading into this meet, it’s not an arrogance thing, it’s just the way it is.

“It’s a fact. If that plays into people’s minds then good, I hope it does and I hope it stamps a degree of authority. I’ve felt it in terms of how I’ve been approached by other swimmers since Tokyo.

“Having a reputation can only only play into my hands. There’s obviously pressure, there’s been pressure every time I’ve stepped up to race since winning that Olympic gold and this is no different.

“There’s a target on your back at domestic and international meets, you’ve got a target at training sessions, when people are trying to beat you when you’re just doing your reps. It’s always the way.”

Dean, left, pipped Duncan Scott to Olympic gold in the men's 200 metres freestyle in Tokyo (Joe Giddens/PA)
Dean, left, pipped Duncan Scott to Olympic gold in the men’s 200 metres freestyle in Tokyo (Joe Giddens/PA)

Scott was on the podium four times at Tokyo 2020, including winning gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay alongside Dean, who edged out his team-mate by four hundredths of a second to claim individual glory.

Along with attempting to win those crowns again, Dean intends to compete in the men’s 200m individual medley, the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay and the men’s 4×100m medley relay.

“I’m making a conscious effort to give myself the best shot, it’s a momentous task – the stars are going to have to align because anything can change,” Dean said.

Despite Dean being Olympic champion, Britain can only choose two swimmers for the men’s 200m freestyle, with Scott and Matt Richards, who won gold at last year’s World Championships, also in the mix.

The British Championships at the London Aquatics Centre in April doubles as the Olympic trials and Dean acknowledges the strength in depth can only be a good thing.

“The Olympic trials is going to be just as hard as the Olympic Games,” Dean, who is set for a brief trip to Doha next month for a relay race at the World Championships, said.

“I need to make sure I stamp my ticket to Paris. It’s not going to be easy and everyone will be fighting their hardest to get on that team. That’s why we’re so strong on those relay events.”

In his quest for additional advantages, Dean, who won seven medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and four at last year’s World Championships, has launched a podcast which will build towards the Olympics.

Titled ‘Tom Dean Medal Machine’, the double Olympic champion will sit down weekly with celebrity guests to pick their brains and see if he can glean anything from them that can help him in France.

“There’s a reason why people do sports psychology because it helps them tweak that area of your game, there’s a reason why you speak to a nutritionist to help that area of your game,” Dean added.

“Why can’t I speak to someone who’s stepped out on stage at a music festival in front of 20,000 people? I’ll be stepping out and performing in front of 20,000 people come Paris.

“I’m convinced there are things to be taken from every single different person who’s gone and done something like that.”

:: Tom Dean Medal Machine is available from 25th January, listen and follow here:

https://www.globalplayer.com/podcasts/42KweB/