British swimmer Adam Peaty, 26, became a household name when he won gold in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, breaking his own world record in the final to record a time of 57.13 seconds in a triumph for the GB team.
Since then, he continues to dominate his discipline and is a World, European and Commonwealth champion with 35 gold, eight silver and two bronze medals to his name.
Before the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, Peaty again broke his own record at the 2019 World Aquatic Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, clocking 56.88 in the semifinals, but still insists that its best is yet to come.
“It’s not an arrogant thing, it’s just a state of mind that we have built”, he told reporters this week. âI want to go out there and do what I’m doing. And if I play, then I don’t think a lot of people would come close.
Born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire on December 28, 1994, Peaty attended St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Uttoxeter, Painsley Catholic College in Cheadle and Derby College.
Remarkably, he suffered from a chronic fear of water when he was young after his brothers convinced him that sharks could swim out of their bathtub drain.
“He didn’t like water when he was younger”, his grandmother Mavis Williams told the BBC in 2016. âHe used to scream every time he took a bath. And when his mother would take him to the pool, he would scream there.
Swimming lessons with his friend Jack Stevenson eventually cured him of the phobia and Peaty went on to join Dove Valley Swimming Club at age nine and Derby City Swimming Club at age 14.
It was here that coach Melania Marshall, initially dismissive of her freestyle, realized her real potential lay in breaststroke. She remains by his side to this day.
By his own admission, Peaty didn’t take swimming seriously until, at age 17, he saw fellow junior Craig Benson make the 100-meter breaststroke semi-final at the 2012 London Olympics, l ‘prompting to start training full time at Loughborough University. .
He first caught the sport’s attention at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, where he finished second in the 50-meter breaststroke final, losing to South African Cameron van der Burgh.
“I can’t believe it, it’s a dream, I studied Cameron for a while – he was my idol, and now he’s my rival,” he said. Told The daily telegraph at the time. âI knew I would go quickly, but I caught up with him. It is a major stepping stone for me and for swimming in the country.
Next, in the 100-meter breaststroke, Peaty set new Commonwealth Games records in the playoffs, semi-finals and the final, posting a time of 58.94 to win the gold medal, also winning relay 4. x 100 meters with Chris Walker-Hebborn, Adam Barrett and Adam Brown.
He won four more gold medals at the European Championships that same year in Berlin, Germany, breaking the world record in the 50 meters.
Peaty notched more gold on his World Championship debut in Kazan, Russia in 2015, winning the 50-meter and 100-meter breaststroke races and forming a quarter of the triumphant mixed medley relay team that has broke the world record for the second time.
The following year brought Olympic success to Rio which he hopes to replicate or surpass in Tokyo.
Peaty didn’t rest on his laurels, however, instead becoming the most successful British male swimmer at all of the 2017 world championships when he won a fifth world title in Budapest, Hungary, one of three others. gold medals.
He twice broke the world record en route to the 50-meter breaststroke title in Budapest, becoming the first athlete to do so in under 26 seconds, also winning gold in the 100-meter breaststroke and relay.
In 2018, he defended his Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 100m in Australia, but only clinched silver in the 50m (losing to Van der Burgh) and in the relay.
These comparative disappointments were quickly swept away by the fact that he won four more gold medals at the European Championships in Glasgow and dominated again in 2019 in Gwangju.
Peat is currently so dominant in the 100-meter breaststroke that, until Dutch swimmer Arno Kamminga set a national record of 57.90 seconds on April 30, the 20 fastest strokes in that distance were under the name of the l Englishman, an astonishing feat that made him the big favorite for gold in Tokyo.