Peaty Sends Ripples Across The Water With 58.90 100br Heat At McCullagh International

Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

Adam Peaty sent shudders across poolsides around the world as he scorched to a heat time of 58.90secs as he made his return to competitive waters at the McCullagh International in Bangor, Northern Ireland.

It was Peaty’s first race since the International Swimming League (ISL) final in Las Vegas in December and his first in a long-course pool since the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

The Olympic 100m breaststroke champion was out in 27.41 and back in 31.49 as he led the way ahead of world silver medallist James Wilby (1:00.26) and 2015 world bronze medallist Ross Murdoch (1:00.85) with Irish record-holder Darragh Greene next in 1:00.96.


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Finals are being held in the morning with the meet mirroring the schedule at Tokyo 2020 and his time and manner of performance hints at a speedy time for the Briton who has hypnotised the crowd here at the Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Centre.

Peaty has spent five weeks in Australia with coach Mel Marshall and his National Centre Loughborough training mates, a training block of hard yards and meticulous preparation in order to be ready on that day in Tokyo in July.

He told Swimming World:

“I just tried to build off ISL which obviously requires a lot of skill and in that race there the skill was coming out.

“I think I was past 15m for my dive: that has never happened in a race so we are looking good.

“Completely deconstructed my dive all the way through ISL and it’s starting to come together now.”

There were also notable performances by Siobhan O’Connor in the women’s 100m breaststroke (1:07.48), Duncan Scott in the 100m free (49.11) and Aimee Willmott who clocked 4:39.61 in the 400IM while 17-year-old Ed Mildred raised eyebrows in the 200 fly and 100 free.

And what of Peaty’s hopes for the final? Is it about times or negotiating peaking in the morning?

“It’s a bit of both. It’s never about times with me: it’s all about process. I have got a very good process I’m happy with. I get more out of that than a time.

“Obviously with a time everyone can see it but not everyone can see my process. I am in a good place: first one of the season, drop down now, 58.9, if I can say 58s all the way through that would be nice.”

It was the 25-year-old’s first event since 28 July when he swam the breaststroke leg as Great Britain won the medley relay gold in Gwangju after Scott memorably mowed down Nathan Adrian with the second-fastest split in history.

Peaty said: “We were meant to race in Australia but it was cancelled – it was almost a blessing in disguise because we could really pump up the training even more. It’s good. “

As we spoke a crowd began to inch closer, the eight-time world champion commanding all the attention, selfies the order of the day.

It had begun during warm-up when junior club swimmers were drawn to his lane, watching from poolside and whenever Peaty – easily identifiable with tattoos and tan – approached the wall there were whispers of “here he is”.

Even following his race, fellow swimmers turned round and glanced, an Olympic champion and master of the gladiatorial arena in their midst.


Melanie Marshall – Photo Courtesy: Action Woman Twitter

Morning finals and a strong field made the meet an appealing proposition to Peaty’s coach Mel Marshall who told Swimming World:

“We wanted to try it and to try things from a science perspective.

“To get ready for Tokyo with the morning finals and we want to try that format.

“And also we know it’s going to be a good meet.”

O’Connor, Willmott, Scott & Mildred Turn Up The Heats


Siobhan-Marie O’Connor – Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

O’Connor is also clearly thriving in the Loughborough waters and she enjoyed a fine heat in the women’s 100 breaststroke.

The Rio 200IM silver medallist was out in 31.82 and back in 35.66 to head the field in 1:07.48.

Molly Renshaw, double European medallist over 200m, overhauled 2017 world junior champion Mona McSharry in the final metres of their heat to clock 1:08.37, 0.11secs ahead of the Irish record holder.

Double Olympian Aimee Willmott led the way in the 400IM in 4:39.61, highly impressive given it was a heat swim.

The 2018 Commonwealth champion split 1:04.90; 2:17.18; 3:33.87 and came home in 65.74 to head the field, 7.48secs ahead of 16-year-old Katie Shanahan, who was Team GB’s most decorated athlete at the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival with the 400IM title one of three golds among six medals.

Third into the final was Hannah Miley, at 31 almost double Shanahan’s age, and a consistent world-class performer for Great Britain over many years.

The Scot, who boasts world, European and Commonwealth medals among her silverware, progressed in 4:49.71.


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Scott looked mighty impressive in his 100 free heat in 49.11, conserving energy in the final metres but with clear daylight between him and the rest of the field.

Irish record holder Shane Ryan (50.12) and double Commonwealth medallist Jarvis Parkinson (50.40) rounded out the top three to progress.

Ed Mildred was fifth through in 50.78, the 17-year-old hinting at a potentially very youthful British relay squad in Tokyo with the likes of 15-year-old Jacob Whittle – the fastest 14-year-old over 100m in history – and 17-year-old Matt Richards – who won the 2019 European junior title in 48.88 – set to join the fray at the British trials in April.

Mildred then followed it up as he led the 200 fly field in 1:59.66 – 1.02secs outside his own 16yrs British age group record of 1:58.64 set at the European Youth Olympic Festival

The Northampton Swimming Club athlete left many experienced internationals in his slipstream including Rio Olympian Max Litchfield (2:01.39) and Irish record holder Brendan Hyland (2:01.59).

Thomas Flies Into The Wall

Commonwealth champion Alys Thomas headed the 200 fly heats in 2:10.81 ahead of Charlotte Atkinson of Loughborough (2:11.09).

Marie Godden of Kilkenny was the fastest through in the women’s 100 free in 57.60, 0.30secs ahead of McSharry.

Joe Litchfield was the only man to dip inside 26secs in the 50 back in 25.82 with Kathleen Dawson heading the way in the women’s equivalent in 28.36.



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3 years ago

Laurie ???