Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Adam Peaty sent an ominous warning to his rivals in Tokyo this summer by storming to victory at the British trials – and then declaring that his performance showed he was “way ahead of where I should be”.
No other man has gone inside 58 seconds but Peaty has now done so on 15 occasions after winning the final in 57.39 sec – only half a second outside his world record. The world silver medallist James Wilby was nearly a second and a half back in second and, incredibly, the 26-year-old Peaty now holds the 20 fastest times in history.
“I’ll take it,” he said. “I’ve had a lot going on with a kid and moving house so I am happy to come here and consolidate those top 20 ever times. For me the execution was perfect. I’m way ahead of where I should be now so I can take a lot of confidence into the summer and the Olympics.”
Peaty also admitted that the birth of his son, George, in September had motivated him like nothing else as he seeks to become the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title. He promised he would get even quicker in July. “There are always ways to get faster,” he added. “Today there were no crowds, so it was a bit tougher. But that was a mental game but I still got to exactly where I needed to be. It’s two lengths of the pools. A lot of people overcomplicate it.”
Double Olympic medallist Duncan Scott also impressed on the first of four days of the trials as he went under the British record with a time of 1:55.90 in the 200m individual medley.
Freya Anderson underlined her potential by winning the women’s 200m freestyle in front of Abbie Wood in 1:56.48 – while Kieran Bird beat his personal best by nearly five seconds to win the men’s 400m freestyle in 3:46.00.