Englishman Adam Peaty set the seventh-fastest time in history as he staged a superb return to form in the men’s 100 metres breaststroke at the European Championships in Glasgow.
Peaty, the only man to have breached the 58-second barrier in the event, won his heat in 57.89 sec, almost a second faster than his winning time at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, before qualifying for Saturday's final.
The 23-year-old admitted feeling disillusioned after a rare defeat in the 50m in Australia – but believes a combination of newfound enjoyment and a home crowd could lead to “something special” in Glasgow.
Peaty said: “I’ve got a ban on talking about 56 [seconds] or world records, but I’m enjoying it and that process I’ve found in the last couple of months could mean something special.
“I’m feeling very good and I’m in good shape, and at a home Games you always get that bit more than 100 per cent. This is what I was born to do and a home arena is where I really come to life.”
Glaswegian James Wilby joined Peaty in the final with a time of 59.23 but fellow Scot Ross Murdoch failed to reach the semi-finals.