Adam Peaty gives away gold medal after securing World Championship place
Olympic champion Adam Peaty booked his passage to the Budapest World Championships with another sub-58 second time in the 100 metres breaststroke at the British Championships, then gave away his latest gold medal to a 10-year-old boy in the crowd.
The 22-year-old clocked 57.79 seconds to win the British Championships in Sheffield, close to his own world record of 57.13secs, and was the only swimmer at Ponds Forge on Tuesday to automatically secure a ticket to the Worlds in Hungary later this summer.
Peaty became the first British male to win a swimming gold in 28 years in 2016 and the sport’s poster boy was the star turn at the British Championships’ opening night, with one kid the lucky recipient of his medal.
“He’s a little breaststroker I think, that’s what his mum said,” Peaty revealed.
“Hopefully that medal will inspire him every day now. I could just feel that energy down the last 50 (metres) and thought, ‘This is what we’re doing it for’. Hopefully these young ones here will be the next generation of Olympians.”
Harry Brancham, a keen club breaststroke swimmer himself with clubs in Retford and Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, had stayed up to watch Peaty make history in Brazil last summer and now had even more reason to feel motivated by him.
Peaty showed his appetite had not dropped since he won Team GB’s first gold at Rio as he followed up a 58.56secs time in the morning heats by going quicker in the final.
His challenge now is to shave even more off his own world-leading time, an achievement he believes is within his reach, and in doing so perhaps break the 57-second barrier.
“I think I can get fairly close in Budapest,” he claimed.
“A lot of people are saying 56 (seconds), I get it most days. It doesn’t matter when it comes, 18 months, hopefully in a few months, or in Tokyo, a race is a race.
“A lot of people would struggle to go to an Olympics, win it and carry on. Even before we won it, we said, ‘If we go to an Olympics and win it, we carry on doing exactly what we’re doing to Tokyo’. A race is a race for me and this is what I showed.”
Elsewhere in Sheffield, double Olympic silver medallist Jazz Carlin finished third in a 200m freestyle race that was won by Eleanor Faulkner, Imogen Clark set a new British record of 30.21secs to claim the 50m breaststroke title, with Chris Walker-Hebborn winning the men’s backstroke over the same distance.