Jubilant divers Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow could barely contain their joy after pipping Germany to a bronze medal in the men’s synchronised 10m platform at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.
The pair were the last to dive but kept their composure to overhaul Germany’s former world champions Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein with a score of 89.64, clinching only the eighth Olympic diving medal in Great British history.
A tense wait for the judges’ decisions preceded a celebration which saw the duo, who only started training together in October, embrace and tumble into the water once the result had been confirmed.
China’s pre-competition favourites Lin Yue and Chen Aisen duly won gold while David Boudia and Steele Johnson of the United States took silver.
“It was just one of those moments where I knew how I would feel if it came up on the scoreboard that we finished fourth and I knew how I would feel if we finished third,” said Daley, who won 10m platform bronze at London 2012.
“We were just waiting and waiting with replay after replay, then all of a sudden the scores came up. I pounced on Dan and I don’t think he was quite ready for it and then before we knew it we were back in for a top bombing seventh dive.”
Earlier in the day, Taunton-based farmer Ed Ling won Great Britain’s third medal of the Games with bronze in the men’s trap shooting.
The 33-year-old beat Czech David Kostelecky 13-9 in the 15-shot after finishing joint fourth in the semi-final and being forced to navigate a shoot-off against Egypt’s Ahmed Kamar to reach the bronze medal decider.
There was no such joy for Great Britain’s male gymnasts as they narrowly missed out on bronze in the men’s team final. London 2012 star Louis Smith fell off the pommel in a final rotation as China secured third place.
A similar galling fate befell Great Britain’s women in the bronze medal match of the rugby sevens. Canada prevailed 33-10 after Great Britain had earlier been defeated 25-7 by New Zealand in the semi-final.
Defending rowing champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, meanwhile, surged into Wednesday’s semi-final of the women’s pair after navigating their heat despite trailing Denmark with 500m to go.
The pair finished strongly to extend their unbeaten run to 37 races, dating back to 2011. The men’s four won their heat with a dominant display, while the men’s and women’s eight and men’s quadruple sculls team reached their respective finals.
Davis Cup hero Kyle Edmund’s Olympic journey ended after losing in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, to world No117 Taro Daniel of Japan in the men’s singles tennis. Edmund had led 0-3 and 2-5 but lost impetus in both sets.
He was not the sole Briton to exit the singles. Heather Watson crashed out following a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina. Johanna Konta progressed to round three after a 6-2, 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia.