A British swimmer has fallen victim to an awkward on-air spoof following a victory in the men’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympics.
Tom Dean, Duncan Scott, James Guy and Matthew Richards collected a gold medal in the event, beating the Russian and Australian teams on Wednesday.
Following the impressive win, which scored them a new European record, an embarrassing on-air slip of the tongue left Richards and Dean notably red faced.
The duo were forced to conceal their amusement at a comment made by BBC Sport reporter Clare Balding during a virtual interview after the race.
Balding expressed her admiration for 18-year-old Richards’ “phenomenal” performance in the third leg of the relay.
“You’re 18 years old, it’s your first Olympics, and your third leg was just phenomenal,” Balding said.
Her comment received an immediate chuckle from 21-year-old Dean, who struggled to remain composed due to the cheeky double meaning.
Richards fought off an embarrassed grin during an awkward momentary pause before proceeding with his answer.
The moment received a huge reaction after it was shared to TikTok, quickly going viral and receiving thousands of comments.
The person behind the post attached the words, “did she really just say that?” across the video, with many seemingly agreeing Balding had walked herself into a trap.
Dozens were impressed at how well Richards held himself together when presented with the potential interview-ruining gaffe.
“He’s 18 and held it together here without laughing hysterically. That’s an achievement on its own,” one wrote in a comment.
Another expressed their awe at the “self control of those two to not burst out laughing”.
“If they made eye contact with each other, it would have been over,” someone else remarked.
Many agreed the level of composure shown was deserving of another gold medal itself.