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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 14:03 GMT
Typing error denies Daley record

Tom Daley
Daley could yet become Britain's youngest-ever Olympic medallist
If Tom Daley was beginning to feel burdened by the belief he was heading to Beijing as Britain's youngest-ever male Olympian, he can breathe a sigh of relief.

But had the 13-year-old diver been relishing the prospect of making history in China, he is entitled to feel more than a tinge of disappointment.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed to BBC Sport on Tuesday that Daley will not be the youngest male to represent GB at an Olympics after all.

Daley may be just 14 years and 81 days when competition begins in August, but Kenneth Lester coxed a rowing pair at the Rome Games of 1960 aged 13 years and 144 days.

I enjoyed every moment, going to the opening and closing ceremonies, coming home in the same party as Anita Lonsbrough who had won a gold - it was all wonderful

Kenneth Lester, Britain's youngest-ever male Olympian

The BOA says an error in the international Olympic handbook it uses to source biographical information on past competitors printed Lester's year of birth as 1937 when it is actually 1947.

It was not until Lester called their offices on Monday, the day after Daley secured his passage to Beijing, that the mistake was discovered.

BOA officials immediately consulted their own handbook, but found that Lester's date of birth was not listed.

It needed a call to the International Olympic Committee to provide the necessary confirmation.

"I feel awful about it," Lester, who was almost 10 months younger than Daley will be when he competes in Beijing, told the Daily Mail.

"When I heard the news (of Daley's qualification) I thought how wonderful it would be for him and now I feel sorry to have said anything.

Tom Daley
Daley will be aged 14 years and 81 days when the Olympics begin

"I can tell him it will be a fantastic experience. Forty or more years ago the atmosphere was a lot more relaxed. As a 13-year-old I walked around the streets of Rome on my own.

"I enjoyed every moment, going to the opening and closing ceremonies, coming home in the same party as Anita Lonsbrough who had won a gold. It was all wonderful."

Daley could still end up re-writing the record books in Beijing.

Lester and his crew missed out on a medal in Rome after they were knocked out in the preliminary rounds.

That means Daley has a chance to become Britain's youngest male medallist.

The record is currently held by fellow diver Brian Phelps, who was 16 years and 134 days when he won bronze in the 10m platform event in Rome.

Cecilia Colledge - born 28 November 1920 - remains the youngest British Olympian ever.

She was 11 years and 73 days old when she competed in the women's single skating competition at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

Tom Daley is one of the athletes BBC Sport is following as part of the Olympics Dreams series.
You can read regular behind-the-scenes updates on his progress at

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28 Jan 08 |  Team GB
Swimming on the BBC
02 Oct 07 |  Swimming
Diving's battle of the ages
02 Jan 08 |  Swimming
Injured Taylor out of nationals
02 Jan 08 |  Swimming
Olympic Dreams - Tom Daley
03 Oct 07 |  London 2012


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