Adam Peaty Edges To Top Of Early World Ranks On 58.53 On Way To Seeking Ticket To Third 100m Olympic Title Fight

2024-04-02 No comments Reading Time: 4 minutes
Adam Peaty gets set to go in London this lunchtime - image courtesy of Aquatics GB/Channel 4

There was something of the spirit of a Hobbit with a ring about Adam Peaty this lunchtime in London as the double Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, clean-shaven, ‘tash gone and looking more youthful than he has at any time since Tokyo 2020ne, sped to a 58.53 ticket to lane 4 for the showdown at British trials for Paris 2024.

Out in 27.09, Peaty, racing in the lane in which he set his first world record back in 2015, is now at the helm of the 2024 World rankings, his time 0.04sec inside what it took American Nic Fink to lift the World titles at the oddball Doha global gathering in February.

It’s the 34th best effort of Peaty’s extraordinary career – and his fastest since he claimed Olympic gold No2 in his signature event at Tokyo in 2021.

Since then, we’ve witnessed the rise of the new favourite for Olympic gold in Paris, Qin Haiyang, of China, whose best of 57.69 slots it at No15 on the all-time performances list behind Peaty’s top 14 efforts, topped by his abundant, high-frequency 56.88 World record form 2019.

The world is watching:

All to play for after it looked in recent times as though Peaty had an Everest to climb to have a hope. The Everest he may well have climbed but he is now past the point of hope, a prospect once more.

That will be reinforced if Mel Marshall‘s Loughborough charge gets down to 58 flattish, and more so if he dips below that, in the final tonight. That showdown has just one purpose, of course: selection for Team GB/ Great Britain to the ultimate swimming show on earth. For a third time, the first two moments of majesty and a force of immortalisation that then fed into the crisis Peaty found himself having to overcome just to get himself back win the blocks.

Beyond qualification, the mission is to give the best of himself here and now, wherever that may leave him in any race with others. The possibilities include doing what only Michael Phelps, among men, have ever done before him: win the same Olympic swimming title at three Games.

The background:

Adam Peaty, Crisis To Quest – Part 1 – Winter 2022 To Spring 2023: My Self-Destructive Spiral

Adam Peaty, From Crisis To Quest: Into The Light Of Self-Discovery, No Need To Prove His Worth

Peaty: “Can’t remember last time I enjoyed racing at GB Championships”

Peaty emerged from heats with a broad smile on his face to match that we witnessed at the same venue back in 2015 after he pioneered the sub-58 swim and done for breaststroke space what Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan to be) had done for freestyle back in the 1920s. Said Peaty today:

“I’m an emotional swimmer, I need to feel the passion and it will be about matching the performance with that to put on a show tonight. I feel really good and I can’t remember, to be honest, the last time I enjoyed racing at a British Championships.

That was a little bit of a masterclass in technique and strategy. I missed the turn a little bit … but it felt good … I haven’t had that feeling of having a really strong stroke since Tokyo really … there’s a lot of promising things in there.

Adam Peaty – image courtesy Aquatics GB and Channel 4

The trials, meanwhile, are a big affair, extending to the junior and Paralympic ranks, the numbers making for lengthy sessions and the schedule making mainstream print coverage a tricky balancing act, Peaty, for example, not due to races until after newspaper’s print their first editions this evening.

Regardless of those challenges and the discussion Aquatics GB is yet to have with media about how to achieve better coverage of their sport, there was one image on day 1 of heats at the London Aquatics Centre that stood out in terms of the importance of connections between those used to outer orbit and the aspiring who are yet more prone to gravity in athletic-performance terms.

The image is a lovely souvenir for all who can forever tells family and friends “that they “I was in the race when Peaty … “, a couple of those in outside lanes part of the next wave aspiring to LA’28 and Brisbane’32 but through to the Paris final tonight… Filip Nowacki, on 1:01.46, was born in the year Phelps put in one of thyme, if not the, most spectacular shows of strength and skill at Melbourne 2007 World titles; while Max Morgan, 1:01.64, was born the year after in the season Phelps sped to a record eight Olympic golds:

In other events, the clock was calm. Kieran Bird and Luke Turley led the way to the 400m free final on 3:51 and 3:52, Keanna MacInnes, Laura Stephens and Emily Large will race in the middle lanes of the 200m butterfly showdown, their respective times 2:08.66 and a pair of 2:10s this morning; and Abbie Wood led the 200m free heats in 1:58.49, 0.49sec ahead of Lucy Hope, with Freya Colbert and Medi Harris on 1:59s and Freya Anderson out of action after a bout of glandular fever at the start of the year (discretion of selectors extends to medical reasons but not for solo events if two race inside the cut).

Trials Information

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