Adam Peaty became the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title with a dominant display in the final of the men’s 100 metres breaststroke at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
While he was unable to break his own world record of 56.88 seconds, the 26-year-old from Uttoxeter stormed to Team GB’s first gold of Tokyo 2020 in a time of 57.37secs.
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At a glance: 5 key points
- Peaty recorded the fifth fastest time in the history
- Peaty could win a second medal in the 4x100m medley relay later this week
- Arno Kamminga, the only swimmer other than Peaty to breach the 58-second barrier in this event, was a distant 0.63s behind in second
- Nicolo Martinenghi collected bronze in a time of 58.33s
- Peaty’s compatriot James Wilby missed out on a podium position, settling for fifth as he clocked 58.96s
What’s been said
“It’s been a heavy investment. A lot has changed this last year, more than the last five. Becoming a father, buying my first house and some days when I woke up and was like ‘this is hard, this is really hard’.
“There’s been so many challenges, so many challenges and f****** some breakdowns as well. It’s like ‘what am I doing every single day? Why am I training three times a day, giving it everything for this swim?’.
“I’ve hidden a lot of emotion from my own family, I’ve hidden a lot of stress and a lot of those moments where I was like ‘this is very, very hard’.
“It’s like going for a promotion and trying to prove yourself every five years in 56-57 seconds, it’s like to trying to prove what you’re worth.
“I don’t think people back home would understand the amount of investment which has been put into this swim. For a lot of people they could lose it just in that last moment. For me that amount of investment has paid off.
“There’s a lot of emotion, I’m probably not going to sleep for a while now, I’m so buzzed because that was the first British swimmer to ever defend a title. You can do what you want all year round; in your own arena, in your own backyard, it doesn’t mean anything, it means everything here.
“The 99.9 per cent of time that we spend in the dark is for the 0.01 per cent we spend in light."
Adam Peaty told the BBC
Not only is Peaty’s personal best over this distance almost one second better than anyone else in the sport, but he continued a proud record of being undefeated in seven years in major competitions.
The 2020 Olympics are being held in Tokyo, with the capital seeing some of the best athletes in the world compete across two weeks of sporting action.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Games will take place without spectators at Olympics venues in Tokyo. Medal ceremonies will also be held with various restrictions including athletes putting on their own medals, the International Olympic Committee said.
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