Adam Peaty, a swimmer from Great Britain, became the first person to win two gold medals in the same Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics is the most recent Olympics that has taken place in Japan. Adam Peaty became two-time Olympic champion when he won his 100m breaststroke final on day 7 of the games.
Team GB’s Adam Peaty won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympics.
|Dates: July 23rd to August 8th, Tokyo time: BST +8|
|Watch on TV, iPlayer, Red Button, and online; listen on Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra, and Sounds; and read live text and video snippets on the Sport website and app.|
Two gold medals at the Olympics. Not bad for someone who was previously afraid of water in case a shark emerged from the drain.
It was just a matter of time. The 100m breaststroke championship was always going to be Peaty’s, whispered before 03:13 BST on Monday but screamed thereafter.
With his 2019 world record, he currently holds the 16 fastest times over the distance in history, with this race being the fifth fastest. He is also the first swimmer to ever dive under 57 seconds.
He has been undefeated in the two lengths since 2014, a remarkable record that includes three world, four European, and two Commonwealth championships – and now double Olympic gold.
“I suppose it’s a huge relief.” “It’s almost as if you’re going for a promotion and you’ve been working your arse off for five years to earn that promotion and you only have 57 seconds to prove yourself,” he added. “Under that kind of strain, a lot of individuals may give up.”
“I’ve shown time and time again that I can perform when it counts and improve my round times. That is exactly what I do.”
It’s what he does today, but Peaty wasn’t always such an aquatic beast.
His front crawl was so off the mark when he was 14, that his coach, Mel Marshall, moved him to the slow lane.
His breaststroke, on the other hand, was a whole other story. She described it to the Telegraph as “like a JCB chewing up the water.” external-link
On Monday, the JCB digger was in high gear. Because he was in the morning final, his world record was unlikely to be challenged, given his time of 57.37 was half a second slower than his best.
However, he was still six tenths of a second clear of the rest of the field, with Dutch silver medalist Arno Kamminga – the only guy other than Peaty to have run under 58 seconds – still a long way from challenging him for gold.
“I have a lot of admiration for him,” Kamminga remarked. “He’s been promoting breaststroke for years, and he’s really set the bar high.”
“If you study his stroke closely, you’ll see how flawless he is in the little aspects, and that motivates me to strive for excellence in practice and competition.”
Rebecca Adlington, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, said: “He’s just incredible. In my lifetime, there won’t be many Adam Peatys.”
The weight of expectation clearly eased off his shoulders when he stepped on to the lane rope, just as he did in Rio five years earlier.
He gave out a scream that the lion on his arm would be proud of, and his post-race interview was full of expletives, but after putting the medal around his own neck – a must in these times – he let out the largest blast of air.
It had not been an easy road leading up to these Games. Due to the year’s delay caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, he had to build a flume pool in his backyard since facilities were closed. But make no mistake: every second had been well spent.
“Every single day for the last 18 months has been nearly completely black. Covid has snuffed out a lot of the enjoyment “”Says the 26-year-old,” he says.
“If you convert that to a percentage, you spend 99.5 percent or 99.9% of your time looking for a ray of light. However, the performance was just 0.1 percent. That is why I devote so much time and effort to what I do.”
That investment has not come without cost. When Peaty’s girlfriend, Eiri Munro, gave birth to their son, George, in September, he became a parent.
It gave him a fresh outlook on life and a focus away from the pool, as well as increased his desire to succeed.
“I simply can’t think straight about how much I’ve done for them as a parent, all that emotional energy,” Peaty added.
“I can look him in the eyes and say it was all worth it, all the time I had to go training and leave him, all that time I had to leave her in tough circumstances.”
His young son was watching his daddy do what he does best at home in the early hours of Monday morning.
Any schedule George’s parents had set for him was thrown out the window as he sat with his mother, “quite bewildered as to what was going on” but thrilled nevertheless.
“It was incredible. It will be a memory we will cherish for the rest of our life “‘s Olympic Breakfast,’ Munro said. “It has everything to do with it.”
Peaty’s parents, Mark and Caroline, were also watching (on a different station, but we’ll let that pass…) from Uttoxeter, where he was born and reared.
His mother had set her alarm for 02:30 a.m., feeling “sick and anxious” when she awoke. Normally, the Peaty family is loud, but this time there was quiet.
“We both knew it was going to be close, so we were both really quiet,” she added. “I was terrified, so I pushed myself back into the couch.”
Peaty will take home one medal, perhaps more from the relay races, but his mother is relieved that one item will not be returning: his shaven moustache after the heats.
Munro was enthralled by it. Peaty’s mother, on the other hand, “wasn’t a fan at all.”
Peaty has lost his moustache but won Olympic gold, and there is no question that he has a lot more to offer.
But, when his career comes to an end, whenever that may be, he won’t have the same number of medals as Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt in athletics.
But it doesn’t matter since that was never the goal. He yearns for immortality, to retire with a swim that will never be surpassed.
If you dare, bet against him.