Winning is not enough, Peaty wants to dominate

GLASGOW • Adam Peaty said he wanted to "dominate" his rivals, after smashing his own world record in the 100 metres breaststroke at the European Championships in Glasgow on Saturday.

The British swimmer stopped the clock at exactly 57 seconds as he obliterated both his rivals and his own previous best mark of 57.13, which he set on the way to winning Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

It marked a remarkable return to form for Peaty, who had cut a dejected figure at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year, where he won in an uncharacteristically slow time of 58.84 as well as being beaten over his less-favoured shorter distance of 50m.

"I don't just want to win - I want to dominate," said a delighted Peaty. "That's not an arrogant side, it's just the competitive side in me.

"I wasn't going out there to break the world record but when I got to 50m I thought, 'This is so easy.'

"Then I came back and all the passion and emotion of the let-down of the Commonwealths really fuelled that.

"After the heats yesterday, I knew I was in good shape. After the semi I was back in the 58sec but it just shows what you can do if you have a positive mental attitude."

Peaty's superiority was such that his British team-mate James Wilby, who took silver, finished more than 1.5 seconds behind him in 58.54. The 23-year-old Peaty is still the only man to have cracked the 58-second barrier.

He now stands on the brink of achieving his long-held and personal "Project 56" campaign.

"It gives me another level of motivation," he said. "It's a great place to be in, to break the world record by a marginal gain and two years out (from Tokyo 2020).

"When you go four years without losing, you kind of get complacent and you need the team around you to get you back on track."

He was not the only swimmer to break a world record on Saturday.

Russian teenager Kliment Kolesnikov, 18, also achieved the feat for the 50m backstroke.

He clocked 24.00 seconds to take 0.04sec off the record set by Britain's Liam Tancock at the world championships in Rome in 2009.

His performance was so dominant that he beat Romanian silver medallist Robert-Andrei Glinta by 0.55sec.

"I said to myself to keep calm. I realised I could win after the semi-final yesterday but I didn't think much about the world record," Kolesnikov said. "But the big goal is the (Tokyo) Olympics. It is nothing special what I have done today, the special one is the Olympics."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2018, with the headline 'Winning is not enough, Peaty wants to dominate'. Print Edition | Subscribe