Tom Daley capsizes boat as he begins four-day challenge for Comic Relief

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Watch: Tom Daley recovers from capsized boat to complete first leg of charity challenge

Tom Daley's four-day endurance challenge for Comic Relief got off to a difficult start as he capsized his boat beneath Tower Bridge and took a dip in the freezing Thames.

The Olympic diving champion is taking part in the 'Hell of a Homecoming' challenge, which will see him row, cycle, swim and run from London to Plymouth.

Daley left the Aquatics Centre in Stratford — site of his first-ever Olympic medal in 2012 — at 7am on Monday morning for a six-mile row along the Thames.

But things didn't go to plan for the 27-year-old athlete, whose boat turned on its side soon after starting, plunging him into the water.

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Tom Daley found himself in the cold water of the Thames on day one of his Comic Relief challenge. (Comic Relief/PLA/Todd-White Art Photography/Getty Images)
Tom Daley found himself in the cold water of the Thames on day one of his Comic Relief challenge. (
Getty)

“The rowing is the most technical part," Daley confessed. "I’ve found the rowing particularly difficult, and I did fall in quite soon after starting out on the Thames.

“I was looking out at the Thames and thought it looked horrible: the waves were going wild, and the winds were blowing.

"If I’m honest, I didn’t know if I was going to make it to Tower Bridge, but I did my best.”

Daley also managed to complete the second leg of the challenge on Monday — a 60-mile bike ride from Tower Bridge to the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake in Reading.

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Tom Daley eventually managed to complete the six-mile first leg of his challenge. (Comic Relief/PLA/Todd-White Art Photography/Getty Images)
Tom Daley eventually managed to complete the six-mile first leg of his challenge. (Getty)

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The next leg of the challenge began on Tuesday morning with Daley taking to the water for a 1,000m swim in the lake, ahead of another 63-mile cycle to Southampton, where he began his diving career.

Day three will feature his longest bike ride yet, with Daley cycling 130 miles from Southampton to Dartmoor's Bovey Castle.

The picturesque Devon location was the venue of Daley's wedding to Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black in 2017.

On the final day, Daley will complete a 30-mile run from Devon to his hometown of Plymouth, where the gruelling challenge will come to an end.

Tom Daley takes to his bike on day two of his 'Hell of a Homecoming' charity challenge. (Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief via Getty Images)
Tom Daley takes to his bike on day two of his 'Hell of a Homecoming' charity challenge. (Jordan Mansfield/Comic Relief via Getty Images)

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Davina McCall, who completed her own 500-mile challenge for Sport Relief in 2014, was present in London on Monday to wave Daley off on his first leg.

She said: "Watching Tom this morning has made me relive my Comic Relief challenge – it has brought back so many memories.

"I remember the excitement and trepidation and how being out on the road, or water, is never like it is in your training.”

The complete journey of Daley's challenge has been filmed for a BBC documentary, which will air on 18 March ahead of the return of the Red Nose Day telecast.

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