Adam Peaty is backing himself to break his own world record in the 100m breaststroke at Tokyo 2020, after beginning his Olympic title defence with an easy win in the heats.
Britain’s world record holder looked comfortable touching for home in 57.56 seconds - the eighth fastest time in history. Dutchman Arno Kamminga has recently started to get closer to Peaty’s extraordinary times by dipping under 58 seconds, but the reigning champion is threatening to better his previous long course world record of 56.88s.
He will go in the semi-finals of the competition shortly after 0330 BST on Sunday morning, alongside fellow Team GB swimmer James Wilby. Speaking to Eurosport expert and London 2012 long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford, Peaty answered “yeah” when he was asked if that could be the race where he possibly sets a new best ever time.
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“I had a shaky first 50 there, but it’s just getting used to the speed, getting used to the legs again,” he said.
“I did that at the Euros and I dropped nearly half a second, so we’re looking to see what I can get in the semi-final tomorrow and then hopefully for the final.
Very fast, very solid, it’s a bit weird when you come to an arena like this, you never know where you’re going to be, you can do all the preparation you can do but tonight it was all about shaking the cobwebs out.
“I haven’t done something like that in a long time so, I’m looking forward to seeing where we can build off that.”
Peaty admits he is missing his family, including baby son George, who are back home in the UK - but he is trying not to let that anguish affect him.
“You can’t get carried away with those thoughts because obviously I miss them a huge amount but for me it’s getting the job done here, doing it for the country back home and enjoying it at the same time.”
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