Tokyo Olympics: Dylan Schmidt snatches surprise Games trampoline bronze medal

Trampolinist Dylan Schmidt has bounced to a surprise Olympic bronze medal, improving on his seventh placing at Rio 2016.

The Queensland-born Kiwi, 24, was the first NZ trampolinist to compete at the Games five years ago, after winning a Youth Olympic gold and silver at the 2016 Olympic test event.

This time, he's delivered on that pedigree with a podium finish at Tokyo - New Zealand's first Olympic gymnastics medal. 

Schmidt settled into a medal position through qualifying, where he recorded the third-best performance in each of his two routines and third overall, behind Belarus athletes Ivan Litvinovich and Uladzislau Hancharou.

But with scores reset for the final, Chinese Dong Dong (61.235) sprang into an early lead and was still ahead, after Schmidt produced his best score of the day (60.675) to sit second.

Competing next, defending champion Hancharou was unable to dislodge the top two and countryman Litvinovich also appeared off his game, but somehow salvaged 61.715 to secure gold, relegating Schmidt to third.

"Honestly, it's surreal," Schmidt told Sky Sport. "I've worked hard to be here... it just feels right.

Dylan Schmidt with his Olympic bronze medal
Dylan Schmidt with his Olympic bronze medal. Photo credit: Getty

"I've been feeling this moment for a long time and for it to be real and tangible, I'm stocked."

Schmidt admits his preliminary routines were not perfect, but got him through to the big show, where he produced the performance of his life.

"I nailed the start," he says. "One skill was a bit rough, but I brought it back."

Schmidt promises there's more to come at the 2024 Paris Olympics.