Adam Peaty won't settle after ending Britain's wait for gold

Adam Peaty is ready for the scrutiny which accompanies an Olympic champion and is already looking to go faster '¨following his gold in Rio.

Adam Peaty makes a splash after winning the 100m breastroke, Britains first swimming golf for 28 years. Picture: Getty
Adam Peaty makes a splash after winning the 100m breastroke, Britains first swimming golf for 28 years. Picture: Getty

The 21-year-old from Uttoxeter won Britain’s first medal of the Rio Olympics, ending 
a 28-year wait for a Great 
Britain men’s swimming gold in the process.

Not since Adrian Moorhouse in 1988 had a British male won an Olympic swimming title and Peaty won the same 100 metres breaststroke race in a world record of 57.13 seconds and by more than 1.5secs.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Peaty, who has double Olympic champion and four-time medallist Rebecca Adlington as a mentor and his City of Derby coach, Mel Marshall, to guide him, will not be resting on his laurels.

He was already looking forward to making improvements on the peerless performance when he returns to training at Repton School and Loughborough University after a well-earned break.

Peaty, who competes in the 4x100m medley relay on Friday, said: “Yes, I’m ready. I’ve got one of the best mentors in the world in Mel. She’s been there and done it all.

“And I speak to Becky quite a lot. She’s been there and done it all. But I’m not going to settle for this. I’m going to push forwards.

“I’m sure every gold medallist says that, but me and Mel operate differently, always pursuing excellence and self-improvement.

“It’s going to be good to go back to Repton, go back to Loughborough and pick up on those areas we can improve.

“But for now enjoy it, get this relay done and hopefully get another good performance for Team GB.”

Peaty now plans to move out of the family home he shares with mum Caroline and dad Mark, who were in Rio to watch him alongside his girlfriend, Anna Zair, a 19-year-old Loughborough University psychology student. “The only reason I didn’t move out was because of the winning formula,” said Peaty, who saw no reason for upheaval in the build-up to Rio.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Can’t stop pinching myself,” Zair wrote on Twitter on Monday morning after waking up to the realisation her boyfriend is Olympic champion.

Peaty’s 74-year-old grandmother Mavis Williams must be in disbelief, too.

He was shocked when informed her Twitter followers had grown from the tens into the thousands in a matter of hours, becoming a clear winner in the friendly follower battle with his mum. And Peaty is looking forward to being reunited with his nan.

“My nan means the world to me. I hope she’s proud,” he added.

“She’s a great nan. She’s always believed in me as well. I find it funny they’re competing for that, but that’s the kind of family we are.

“I can’t wait to get home now to my nan and give her a massive hug. But we’ve still got a job to do now and we’re going to push on for the medley relay.”

Britain were roundly criticised for winning just three 
medals in the pool at London 2012, none of them gold.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But two were won on the second night of swimming finals here, with Peaty leading the way and Jazz Carlin adding 
silver in the 400m freestyle.

The British team have a chance of a medal in the medley relay, which features two lengths of each stroke, particularly with Peaty involved.

It is one of a number of further medal chances in the pool, but none are as nailed-on as Peaty.

He surprised even himself with his blistering final time which left him wondering “Where is everybody?”

Peaty was clear favourite entering the Games as the world champion and only man in history to swim beneath 58secs.

He bettered his own world record in his heat on 
Saturday, clocking 57.55 and was 0.07 slower in his semi-final as he qualified fastest.

And he went quicker still in surging to a supreme victory.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He completed the first 50m in 26.61, 0.08 under world record pace and a storming second length saw him enhance his advantage to win in a time even quicker than he had imagined.

Cameron van der Burgh, of South Africa, the London 2012 champion, was second in 58.69 and Cody Miller,
of the United States third in 58.87.

Peaty said: “I was going to do well to get under 57.9 in the heats, but that absolutely blew me. I kept a cool head through the semis and then pushed on again. But consistency means a lot more to me than those 
single times.”