British race walker Tom Bosworth has credited being out for his success at the Rio Olympics.

Bosworth lit up social media earlier this week when he posted an image of himself on Instagram proposing to his boyfriend Harry Dineley on Copacabana Beach.

Bosworth, 26, came out gay last October.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Bosworth, who finished sixth in the 20km event, despite being ranked 37th, and broke the British record, connected his success to being able to live an open life.

“I've had the best season of my life – five British records this year and sixth at the Olympic Games,” Bosworth said. “Because I'm so comfortable with my life and I'm so lucky to have a partner and family, and so many friends round me, I can be myself. And maybe subconsciously that changed more than I realized it would.”

Bosworth said that response to his engagement has been “overwhelming.”

“The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind,” he said. “I’ve barely slept. The next morning, walking round the tower block for Team GB in the athletes’ village was crazy: Everybody on the team has said congratulations. That’s been lovely.”

He added that he was “not expecting” to make headlines with his engagement.