Great Britain in Tokyo: Want your child to be a successful Olympian? Call them Tom

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Tom Daley, Tom Pidcock, Tom Dean and Tom Barras - Team GB in Tokyo: Want your child to be a successful Olympian? Call them Tom
Tom Daley, Tom Pidcock, Tom Dean and Tom Barras - Team GB in Tokyo: Want your child to be a successful Olympian? Call them Tom

Who is doubting Thomas now? No British Olympic fans, that's for sure, after an opening week in which Toms Dean, Daley, Pidcock and Barras powered their country up the medal table.

In fact, for a brief period on Wednesday the British Toms could have been seventh in the medal table alone thanks to their haul of four golds between them. And even on Thursday the gold-medal haul from our swimming, diving and rowing stars would have been enough to keep a 'nation of Toms' in 10th place, above the likes of Italy, Holland and Canada.

In previous years, Olympics historians believe the combination of name and nation most likely to guarantee success was being an American called Michael, with Messrs Phelps and Johnson collecting 28 and four medals in the pool and on the track, respectively.

Yet the British quad are doing their best to claim that previously unheralded title. The run of success began with Daley's gold alongside Matty Lee in the 10m synchronised platform on Monday morning, which was swiftly followed by Pidcock's victory in the cross-country mountain biking the same day. Swimming star Dean then took over, powering to victory in the 200m freestyle on Tuesday morning before being part of the relay team that took gold in the 4x200m the following day. Then, after four golds for the Toms, came a silver with Barras part of the quadruple sculls boat that claimed second place on Wednesday afternoon.

And the chances of such a name doing so well is against the odds: Tom is now the joint-17th most popular baby name, but when the four were all born, it did not figure in the top 20.

Team GB ’s Britain's Tom Dean claimed a stunning gold ahead of team-mate Duncan Scott in a thrilling 200m freestyle. - PAUL GROVER FOR THE TELEGRAPH
Team GB ’s Britain's Tom Dean claimed a stunning gold ahead of team-mate Duncan Scott in a thrilling 200m freestyle. - PAUL GROVER FOR THE TELEGRAPH

The name Tom comes from the Hebrew wordd ta’om, meaning twin. It came into English via the New Testament of the Bible, where St. Thomas was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus.

Another quirk in this Team GB squad in Japan is the unprecedented number of medal contenders who also happen to be twins.

There are three sets of twins competing here, including Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova, 16, who won a surprise bronze in the team gymnastics.

Boxer Pat McCormack, 26, is also predicted to take gold in the welterweight division on Saturday. His twin brother, Luke, is in the lightweight division. The third set, Simon and Adam Yates, missed out in the road race.

So if you want your child to be a successful Olympian then being a set of twins may help - and calling them Tom definitely will.

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