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Tom Daley's Fans Defend His Final Rio 2016 Dive After Homophobic Abuse

'He has given young, gay people a role-model and the inspiration to be themselves.'

20/08/2016 20:41 | Updated 20 August 2016
Wong Maye-E/AP
Tom Daley missed qualifying for the men’s 10m platform when he came 18th in the semi-final

Tom Daley did Britain proud with his superb bronze medal-winning synchronised 10m platform routine with Daniel Goodfellow but stumbled in his quest for gold by failing to qualify for the final diving event at Rio 2016. 

The tearful 22-year-old from Plymouth had a disappointing attempt at the men’s 10m platform and ultimately came 18th - six places short of the rank he needed to progress from the semi-final. 

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Daley came out with a final score of 403.25 on Saturday

Daley, who is engaged to fiancée Dustin Lance Black, told the Press Association after that he was “fighting until the end” and “constantly trying to fight to be up there, improve my place and fight to qualify for the final”. 

But soon after his dives, Daley was targeted by homophobic abusers who disparaged the star and linked his performance to his sexuality. 

One Christian group even suggested that Daley’s “turning gay” had not done his athletic abilities “any favours”.

Despite the comments, many - including author JK Rowling - came to Daley’s support to call out the abuse.

While others pointed out how Daley had become a role-model to sporting-hopefuls and had also developed into a powerful LGBT advocate.

After the event, Daley posted a photo saying he was “truly heartbroken”, but added he would “never give up on my dream of being an Olympic champion”.

He later told reporters: “To think that Team GB diving has already got three medals from this Games is just incredible.

“It definitely gives you a massive kick in motivation to want to stand on top of the podium in 2020.”

His fiancée also wrote a post on Twitter saying Britain was “proud of all you’ve achieved” and added “we fight again another day”.

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