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.