Adam Peaty insists his exploits in Glasgow have set him up for a fresh assault on his own world-record times next year after surging to his third gold medal at the European Championships.
Peaty washed away memories of his shock defeat on the Gold Coast in April as he won the men’s 50m breaststroke title ahead of second-placed Fabio Scozzoli who finished almost three-quarters of a second behind. Peaty’s winning time of 26.09 may not have threatened his existing world-record mark but it did shave over half a second off the time with which he surprisingly had to settle for silver at the Commonwealth Games.
And it was still a strong enough showing to suggest to Peaty – who has already broken his own 100m record at these Games and goes for another relay title today – that he can breach new boundaries at next year’s World Championships in Gwangju.
Peaty said: “Execution-wise I was probably a nine-and-a-half out of ten, but for the race itself I would give myself ten out of ten. I missed a few strokes which maybe cost me but I don’t think even then I’d have got the world record.
“But it’s looking very strong for next year – very good technique-wise and power-wise, and I’m looking forward to getting around that mark in South Korea.”
Peaty – who will bid for a fourth and final gold in the men’s 100m medley relay – credited the Glasgow fans with giving him the extra motivation to return to form in style.
“I don’t think people realise how much a home crowd means to us,” added Peaty. “When you come out and they’re absolutely roaring, that gives you an extra ten or even 20 per cent depending how you use it.”
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom also won her third gold of the championships. After triumphing in the 50m freestyle and the 100m butterfly, she added the 100m freestyle title by seeing off Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands, who won her fourth silver medal. British teenager Freya Anderson finished fourth.
Evgeny Rylov won the 200m backstroke in a European record of 1min 53.36sec, while Mykhaylo Romanchuk of Ukraine took the men’s 800m freestyle title by beating 2016 champion Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy.
Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu defended her women’s 200m individual medley title, with Britain’s Rio silver medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor a disappointing fourth.
France beat Netherlands in the mixed freestyle relay.