Viet Nam News
BUDAPEST — Britain’s Adam Peaty narrowly missed breaking his own world record again as he won the men’s 50m breaststroke gold at the world championships on Wednesday to complete another sprint double.
Peaty, already a winner over 100m in Budapest, clocked 25.99 seconds over 50m, just 0.04sec short of his record time in Tuesday’s semi-finals, with Brazil’s Joao Gomes Junior taking silver, 0.53sec behind.
"I know I can do faster than that, maybe in a few years I can come back and actually do it, but for now I’m more than over the moon," said Peaty.
Britain increased their swimming gold medal tally in Budapest to three with Peaty retaining the two titles he won in Kazan in 2015 to add to Ben Proud’s victory in the men’s 50m butterfly on Monday.
The 22-year-old Peaty has been in stunning form this week.
He narrowly failed to beat his own 100m world record of 57.13sec from last year’s Olympic final in Rio, but still won gold on Monday with a championship record of 57.47sec.
Over the shorter distance, Peaty roared out of the blocks in Tuesday morning’s heats to clock 26.10sec and smash his own world record.
He then became the first swimmer to go under the 26-second mark when he clocked 25.95sec in the semi-finals.
But Peaty says the knowledge that he is inspiring a rival to his title as the world’s best male breaststroker will push him harder in training.
"Being a champion — an Olympic champion, a world champion — and getting the wins makes people think you are unbeatable," said Peaty.
"But there is probably a kid like that saying ’I can beat Adam Peaty’ and I hope there is, as that’s a good challenge for me.
"It takes a special type of person to think that, and that’s where I made that step, to say ’yes, I can take on the rest of the world’.
"Everyone’s beatable, it’s just when and where."
South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh, the 2009 and 2013 world champion in the 50m breaststroke, earned bronze at 0.61sec and promptly paid tribute to Peaty’s powerful performances.
"I think I have to retire and give it a few years and come back when he’s older," joked the 29-year-old Van der Burgh.
"It’s really impressive. It’s not even breaststroke anymore, he’s swimming like a new kind of stroke, like a metamorphosis between (butter)fly and breast.
"You have to have a lot of power, obviously, to swim it and it’s suited to his kind of stroke, but it’s difficult because not everyone can do it.
"Probably you would have to start imitating that kind of fly movement to beat him." — AFP