Adam Peaty Cracks 27 Seconds In 50m Breaststroke; Victories For Guy, Wood & Greenbank At British Championships

Gold Medal PEATY Adam GBR 50m Breaststroke Men Final Swimming Budapest - Hungary 22/5/2021 Duna Arena XXXV LEN European Aquatic Championships Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Adam Peaty became the first man this year to go inside 27secs in the 50 breaststroke at the British Championships but there were no further additions to the national team for the June worlds in Budapest.

There were titles for James Guy – despite covid in January – Abbie Wood and Luke Greenbank – all preselected for world titles – plus Medi Harris, Leah Crisp and Harriet Jones at Ponds Forge.

Peaty described his return to the water as a “comeback” given Sheffield is just his second meet since Tokyo.

He went 58.58 to win the 100br on Tuesday – a time eclipsed this year only by Tokyo silver medallist Arno Kamminga and his 58.52.

It was especially notable given the five-time Olympic medallist has not rested for the meet which is just his second since Tokyo.

The three-time Olympic champion went 27.10 in prelims for the fastest time of 2022 and he returned in the evening to crack 27secs in 26.91 ahead of James Wilby and Craig Benson.

Such are the standards he has set for himself – and the rest of the world – Peaty was not so taken by his performance, despite

“It’s a funny one because I thought it was going to be a lot faster: it felt like a 26.7 really.

“Again I had no idea – I can count on one hand how many times I’ve done a 50.

“So I don’t want to be too harsh on myself: 50 is always going to be the hardest one because in January I couldn’t do a 50 breast because the technique wasn’t there, the stamina wasn’t there.

“The speed is always going to be the one that hurts and the one that suffers really and you’ll see that from many people who come off the Olympics that speed is a little bit harder to get to.

“This meet is more of a marker. I am trying to adapt my training now to what I need to do in June, July and August and that is what it’s all about.

“It’s a 26.9 – it’s alright – but at the same time I’ve got the value in knowing what I need to do now.

“I know how it feels.”

Titles in the 50 and 100 under his belt, next up for Peaty are the 200br heats on Friday.

He went 2:14 in Marseille last month in his first crack at four lengths since 2016 and anything slower than 2:13 would see him scratch from the final.

“I’m not looking forward to it though,” he smiled.

Guy Flies High; Second Title For Wood

James Guy

Guy qualified third for the 200 fly and come the final he went through100 in 54.50 and at 1:24.50 at the final turn, the two-time Olympic relay champion held a clear lead.

He drove on and touched in 1:56.31 – outside the cut – ahead of Mason Wilby (1:57.31) and Jay Lelliott (1:57.77).

Guy said:

“This cycle from January to April have really crushed me a little bit. I got covid in January and was out for a couple of weeks and came back in mid jan so time was running out for me with trials.

“To do that time there – after eight weeks’ work – that’s really impressive, it’s great so hopefully I can move it on again in the summer.”

The four-time world champion was outside the cut of 1:55.33, prompting a few mixed feelings but also acknowledgment of the effects of a post-Olympic break.

“Yes and no. I kind of know where I’m at – sometimes, just be realistic.

“We know Olympic year was a massive, massive year: everyone knows we had a big break after the Olympics.

“My dad said to me ‘son – tonight, would you take 1:56.5? I went probably, yeah.’

“Considering I came back in the middle of January and it’s the start of April, that’s not bad going.

“I was 90kg in January and I’m 86 now so I’ve lost a lot of weight, very unfit, so not a bad start.”

WOOD Abbie NYB NY Breakers (NYB) ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 7 day 2 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Photo Courtesy: Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Wood added the women’s 200 breaststroke title to the gold she won in the 200 free on Tuesday night.

The race was shorn of Molly Renshaw who is missing the meet after being preselected and while Wood – already Budapest-bound in the 200IM – enjoyed a clear victory in 2:24.28, her time was outside the cut.

The two-time European champion was happy with her performance though, the four-length event a work in progress for the swimmer who is coached by Dave Hemmings at Loughborough.

She said:

“I definitely can’t be too annoyed, I’m just trying to get my race process when I’m out on my own without Molly pushing me on like last year.

“So it’s just trying to figure out my own race plan and keep building from there for each competition for the rest of the season.

“I think I can critique myself far too much in the race! I feel like when I’m in a race like “the 200m free last night, I get carried away with the race and that’s when I find my best flow.

“When I’m on my own, I definitely critique every single stroke and probably tear myself apart a bit. It’s just part of learning, especially in this event.

“I just have to get used to a busy programme. The body is hurting a bit, but I’ve got a day off tomorrow, so that’s nice!”

Greenbank And Harris Bring It Back

Greenbank had squeaked into the final despite finishing joint ninth in the heats with Craig McNally.

However, it transpired that Sebastian Somerset – who qualified fifth – was ineligible to compete in the final as his switch from representing Canada to Britain has not yet been ratified by FINA.

That meant a swim-off for Greenbank and McNally only for the pair to decide the former would compete in the A final and the latter in the B.

McNally won his race in 55.03 before Greenbank claimed victory from lane eight in 54.56 ahead of Brodie Williams (54.68) but he was outside the cut of 53.32.

Medi Harris led the way into the women’s final ahead of European champion Kathleen Dawson who was preselected following sixth in Tokyo last July.

Harris rose ahead and turned first in 28.90, pulling away down the second 50 to touch in 59.95 ahead of Lauren Cox (1:00.84) and Dawson (1:01.05).

Harriet Jones won the women’s 50 fly in a season’s best of 26.48 while Leah Crisp enjoyed a clear victory in the women’s 800 free in 8:45.98.