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Fans flock to meet medalist Tom Daley
4:02pm Friday 17th August 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
A thousand screaming fans waited out in heavy rain to greet Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley at a book signing today.
The queue of people hoping to meet the diver at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway near Bristol, had to be closed after an "unprecedented turnout".
The public had been told to start arriving from 8am but by 9am the queue had been closed by organisers.
Some of the teen heartthrob's fans had even camped out overnight following a book signing Daley held yesterday at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.
The 18-year-old diver said he was overwhelmed with the amount of support he had been shown since winning the bronze medal in the men's 10m platform event last Saturday.
Speaking just before hundreds of fans filed into a small space at the back of WHSmith, he said: "It's crazy to say the least, honestly, about a thousand people are here today and they've had to shut the queue because there were too many people turning up.
"Not once did I ever think that that was going to happen, so it's crazy, it really is.
"It's amazing to think that people have actually camped out since before 11pm last night.
"It's insane really to think about it, that someone really wants to get a signed book and things like that, it's mind blowing."
The diver had dedicated his Olympic medal to his father, Rob, who died of cancer aged 40 last year.
Daley had a close relationship with his father who had taken him to training and been to every competition before he was taken ill.
"I think my Dad would think this is quite funny actually," Daley said.
"He'd probably go around, running around the queues actually winding people up, like saying 'Oh, he's gone home' things like that, he had that kind of sense of humour, so I think he would be enjoying it a lot."
Daley said winning the medal had been a "crazy moment", which he had celebrated as if winning gold.
"It was just such a rush of emotions, all my family and friends and especially my team mates," he said.
"My team mates picked me up and jumped in the pool with me, my performance director jumped in the pool as well with his phone in his pocket and things like that, so it was just an amazing moment because it was something that I had really worked hard for.
"It just means so much to actually have one, that's the main thing."
The teenager, from Plymouth, Devon, arrived just after 11am after which his waiting fans were allowed through the doors as hundreds of people - mainly screaming girls - chanted "We want Tom, We want Tom".
The WHSmith events team tweeted this morning: "Due to unprecedented turn out we have now closed the queue for the Tom Daley signing. We advise you not to come down for the signing today."
Among the people braving the pouring rain was Liz Mitchell, from Bath, Somerset, and her children William, 14, Peony, six, and five-year-old Lily.
"The weather is just terrible," she said.
"We got here just after 8am because they told us to get her for 8.30am but some people were here at midnight.
"The nice thing is that although people were getting soaked they were still in good spirits and enjoying themselves."
Suzy Riley and her children, from Nailsea, Somerset, got up at 5am to get to Cribbs Causeway for 6am.
"It was really, really good," she said. "The weather was bad but it was fine really. The staff here gave us ponchos.
"It was well worth getting up for."
First in the queue was Jason Peachey, 26, from Cheltenham, who had taken his place at 10.40pm the previous evening.
He told the Bristol Post: "I've been awake for about 30 straight hours now but I wasn't going to miss this opportunity. He's an inspiration to me. He's only 18 now so I think he will win gold in Rio."
Those who had been turned away from the queue, which snaked around the side of the shopping centre, filled the store for the chance to catch a glimpse of the diving star.
Daley Tweeted to his fans braving the rain: "Thanks 4coming 2Bristol for my book signing at WHSmith.
"They have already had2stop the Q as so many have turned up. Sorry2anyone disappointed."
Daley's book My Story follows his diving background and success, the attention he has received since competing at the Beijing Olympics and the loss of his father.
Daley later Tweeted: "Officially the biggest signing that Bristol WHSmith has ever had!!! Amazing news!!!"