Peaty is attempting to become the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title
Adam Peaty will attempt to become the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title in the early hours of Monday morning after cruising into the men’s 100m breaststroke final.
The 26-year-old is a huge favourite to defend his crown and evidenced the reasons why by recording the fastest qualifying time in the semi-final heats, clocking 57.63 seconds at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Briton’s James Wilby will also feature in the final after finishing third in his heat in exactly 59 secondes, but all focus will be on whether Peaty can break his world record time of 56.88secs
Peaty is unbeaten in the 100m breaststroke in seven years and only one other swimmer, Arno Kamminga, has broken the 58-second barrier in Tokyo thus far.
The men’s 100m breaststroke final is scheduled to begin at 3:12am.
“I knew what I needed to do. It really is about swimming in the semi-final. It’s not really about proving anything, putting any little markers down because I know a lot of energy (is needed) in the final,” Peaty said after gliding into the final.
“Every day has new challenges, new victories. As long as the sun rises and my eyes are open anything can happen. Obviously Olympic finals are Olympic finals but I’m the best racer in the world and I’m looking forward to it.
“I love to race, I’m a scrapper and I know when it comes down to the last 15 I’ve got something no one else has got. It’s just seeing how that replicates in the final.”
There was some speculation the swift turnaround between Saturday evening’s heats and Sunday morning’s finals session may have inhibited all competitors and Peaty admitted he has found it challenging to adjust.
Il a dit: “It’s very strange, very strange. It’s definitely new. I’m just adapting to it, I guess.
“We’ve obviously tried to race as much as we can, trying to put an emphasis on the heats in the morning to replicate a final but there’s only so much you can do.
“When you come to the Olympics, you’ve got way more walking, you’ve got to wait longer for food, wait longer for races. It’s all about controlling the controllables but enjoying that ride at the same time.”
Peaty, sporting a clean shaven look after sporting a moustache in Saturday’s heats, reiterated how peculiar he has found the last couple of days without the usual cheering throng of supporters.
Il ajouta: “It’s very different out there, it doesn’t feel like an Olympics, which is very strange because you think you can come here and rely on that ‘oomph’.
“But there’s not many people in the crowd because they’re all athletes, coaches and media, which is very different. But I know in the final I’m going to have to try and make my own story up.”
Rapports supplémentaires par l'AP