Adam Peaty claims 100m world breaststroke title... but is unable to break his own world record again

Adam Peaty celebrates victory in the final
Adam Peaty celebrates victory in the final Credit: reuters

Adam Peaty issued an ominous warning to his rivals by insisting he 'wanted to go even faster' and still had 'more learning to do' after collecting his third consecutive world 100m breaststroke title.

The 24-year-old Olympic champion was unable to better his new 56.88 world record from 24 hours previously - a mark that saw him become the first male swimmer to go sub 57 seconds - but was still comfortably clear with a time of 57.14, beating British teammate and silver medallist James Wilby by over a second and a half.

It saw Peaty move clear of American Brendan Hansen and Hungary's Norbert Rozsa as the first male swimmer to win three world titles over that distance and also become the first man to win five world championship breaststroke medals.

“This is still very special to me, winning a world championship title and faster than I’ve ever done it before," said Peaty, who begins his quest for a sixth individual world title - and third consecutive 50m breaststroke gold - in Tuesday's heats and semi-finals.  

"It’s obviously a little bit slower than last night as I made a tiny little error with speed on the first 50, but I think the most important thing going into next year is that I’m still learning about myself; it’s not like I’ve gone 56 and I’ve got no more learning to do. “I paced it a little bit differently as (coach) Mel Marshall said to go for it in the first 50 and I ran out of steam a little bit on the back end, but I’m still learning the event and learning about myself and it’s still 57.1!

Adam Peaty (right) holds up his gold medal with silver medalist and compatriot James Wilby (left) Credit: ap

“I’m very happy, but that constant expectation I put on myself there is a little bit of disappointment in me, but I think that’ll fuel me for next year as I want to go even faster now – for now though, I’ll enjoy the moment."

Wilby, who also trains at the same Loughborough base as Peaty, was equally delighted after picking up his first world championship medal.

“I’m really happy," he said. "After the Commonwealths and Europeans last year this was always the next major international and the one last stepping stone towards Tokyo, so I’m really happy to get that silver medal and a Britain one-two means an awful lot to us as well. I’m buzzing for the 200 as well, because I focus on them both and that 100 makes me excited to see what I can do in the 200 now.

“After the World Championships in 2017, which was a bit of a shock for me as I wasn’t quite full prepared for it mentally, I sat myself down and thought ‘right, I’m not going to be in this game forever so it’s time to go’. I just really got myself motivated and have been keeping it going ever since and constantly learning.”