British Trials, Day 1 Finals: Adam Peaty Books Tilt At Three-Peat; Returns to Unique Speed

Photo Courtesy: Morgan Harlow/Aquatics GB

British Trials, Day 1 Finals: Adam Peaty Books Tilt At Three-Peat; Returns to Unique Speed

Adam Peaty booked a chance at becoming only the second man after Michael Phelps to achieve an Olympic three-peat in a single event when he won the 100m breaststroke at the British trials in London.

Peaty went 57.94 in the final. He split 26.80 going out and 31.14 coming back. His time was well under the cut of 59.45.

It’s his fastest time since winning the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 in 57.37 and the 21st sub-58 time in his career.

He was 1.5 seconds clear of James Wilby’s time of 59.47.

“I was out fast, I just didn’t run out of steam,” Peat said. “I felt like I just kept building. So that’s a promising thing for future races.

“I can probably attack that first 50 a little bit more tactically and technically, find that speed. There’s a lot more in there. I think I’ve only just scratched the surface there and I feel good.”

The three-time Olympic champion will now seek to become the first man to do the three-peat in either of the breaststroke events with Kosuke Kitajima having won the 100/200 double in 2004 and 2008.

Phelps is so far the only man to have won the same event at at least three straight Olympics with four victories in the 200 IM between 2004 and 2016. The 23-time Olympic champion also did the three-peat in the 100 fly with victories in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

So far Peaty has won the gold at Rio 2016 and Tokyo five years later in the delayed Games.

“I think I’m honestly just getting more wisdom and I come back to the word peace,” Peaty said. “I don’t care what anyone else is doing in the world. I know that I’m incrementally getting better.

“And for them to see that, I think that’s more on their back. For me, obviously it’s a competition and I want to make it competitive and I’m just enjoying it.”

The 29-year-old served notice of his intentions when he posted 58.53 in prelims, his fastest time in Tokyo and the swiftest in the world this year, 0.04 inside Nic Fink‘s winning time at the 2024 World Championships in Doha.

It bodes well, as does the surge in confidence that Peaty is showing.

“A 57.9 is very good, still not where I want to be, but the first solid result where I am like, ‘Oh not many people can do this,'” he said. “This is a real win for my team, my family and myself. We have come through the past three years of hell.

“I didn’t want to see a pool again. The sport had broken me. I didn’t know what route to go down and so many things got in my way, but now I am waking up each day and enjoying my job. Who knows what the ending is going to be but I am having fun along the way. It may not end up as a fairytale, but it might.”

Keanna MacInnes was the first British swimmer to book a place on the plane to Paris when she won the 200 fly. She came past long-time leader Laura Stephens to stop the clock at 2:07.24.

It lowered MacInnes’ Scottish record and was well within the 2:07.96 QT.

Stephens, who won gold at the Doha World Championships, hasn’t confirmed her place but is well in contention after clocking 2:07.37. Emily Large was third in 2:09.02.

Freya Colbert was inside the 200 free cut in 1:56.22, ahead of Abbie Wood who clocked 1:56.62. Medi Harris was third in 1:58.10.

It could make for an interesting dilemma for selectors given Freya Anderson pulled out as she recovers from glandular fever.

Kieran Bird was 0.20secs outside the 400 free cut in 3:45.63 although wild cards will be awarded at the discretion of the selectors.

Luke Turley (3:48.93) and Tyler Melbourne-Smith (3:50.45) were second and third.

The six-day meet features an integrated Olympic and Paralympic programme with no fewer than five swimmers going inside their respective classification’s nomination time in the 200 free.

It was a blanket finish across the centre of the pool, with the S14 quartet of Poppy Maskill, Olivia Newman-Baronius, Louise Fiddes and Jessica-Jane Applegate all right in a line after matching each other throughout, Fiddes having set the early pace.

In the end, it was Maskill who just did enough to get the touch ahead of Newman-Baronius in second and Fiddes in third, the trio separated by a cumulative 0.2s, but all going inside the 2:10.49 consideration mark, as did Applegate behind them.

Meanwhile, S5 athlete Suzanna Hext swam well inside her required mark of 3:05.07, finishing fifth overall in the points system to do plenty for her bid to go to Paris.

Sam Downie won the men’s MC 400m Freestyle by a narrow margin ahead of Tomas Navarro-BarberGrace Harvey took women’s MC 50m butterfly gold ahead of young Iona Winnifrith as both athletes opened their programmes for the week.

Lyndon Longhorne won the men’s 150m IM and Harry Stewart edged out Scott Quin to take the men’s MC 100m Breaststroke gold.

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