Big night for Daley and Peaty at SPOTY

19 Dec 2021

Tom Daley and Adam Peaty both made the top three of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year to round out an unforgettable year for Britain's aquatics athletes.

In Sunday evening's awards ceremony, Daley finished second in the public vote as recognition for a 2021 that saw him claim a maiden Olympic title, alongside Matty Lee, in the Men's 10m Synchro at Tokyo 2020 - before bronze in the Men's 10m Platform made him Britain's most successful ever Olympic diver. Before that, there was victory at the FINA Diving World Cup, as well as a gold and a silver medal at the European Championships. 

Peaty, meanwhile, finished third in the running. His last 12 months has featured the historic defence of his Olympic Men's 100m Breaststroke crown, another gold - and world record - in the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay and a further silver in the men's event. Four golds at the Europeans in May, meanwhile, saw him complete the unprecedented 'quadruple quadruple'. 

It is the first time a British Swimming athlete has finished on the Sports Personality of the Year podium since 2008, when Rebecca Adlington finished third - with Daley's inclusion the first time ever that a diver has made the top three. 

Tennis player Emma Raducanu, who won an astonishing maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open, won the main award. 

Olympic legends Daley and Peaty were not the only aquatics stars to have their achievements recognised in the annual awards. Ellie Challis was included in the Young Sports Personality of the Year top three after becoming Paralympics GB's youngest competitor and youngest medallist in Tokyo, when she won S3 50m Backstroke silver. Olympic skateboarder Sky Brown was the winner. 

Meanwhile, the British Swimming team who earned eight medals - including four golds - at the Olympic Games were shortlisted for Team of the Year. Mel Marshall - whose athletes Peaty, Anna Hopkin and Luke Greenbank all earned medals in Tokyo - was part of the Coach of the Year shortlist; as was Jane Figueiredo, who oversaw Daley and Lee's rise to the top of the world. 

Ellie Challis S3 50m Back SILVER celebrations [Getty]
Ellie Challis was nominated for Young Sports Personality of the Year

Those inclusions are just an insight into the quality of staff and athletes that have made up British Swimming teams across the disciplines in 2021, a year that also saw Reece Dunn - coached by Robin Armayan - finish as Paralympics GB's most decorated medallist across all sports at Tokyo 2020; David McNulty-coached pair Tom Dean and James Guy win a pair of golds each; Jack Laugher won his third Olympic medal with a Men's 3m Springboard bronze, under the tutelage of Adam Smallwood; Duncan Scott's medal haul broke a Team GB Olympic record, with his University of Stirling coach Steve Tigg helping the versatile swimmer to one gold and three silvers; and Maisie Summers-Newton claimed a Paralympic gold double. The Northampton Swimming Club competitor is coached by Jacquie Marshall and Andy Sharp. 

"It was fantastic to see so many nominations across the British Swimming disciplines at tonight's BBC Sports Personality of the Year - I felt unbelievably proud watching the ceremony," said British Swimming CEO Jack Buckner.  

"I'd like to wish a huge congratulations to Tom and Adam for finishing in the top three. They are two incredible ambassadors for diving and swimming respectively, both in and out of the water, and this is great recognition for some awesome Olympic achievements. 

"The depth of quality across our disciplines is clear to see by the fact that Ellie was nominated for the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize after a memorable Paralympic debut, while the Coach and Team of the Year prizes also featured nods to our amazing athletes and staff. The most exciting thing is that we feel there is even more to come in 2022 and beyond!"

Head over to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year website HERE to find out more about why Daley, Peaty and so many others across British Swimming were such a big part of an incredible year for British sport.