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Swimming: Relieved Peaty clinches Tokyo Olympics 100m breaststroke gold for Britain

Adam Peaty became the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title on Monday (Jul 26) when he claimed gold in the 100m breaststroke, clocking the fifth-fastest time in history.

Swimming: Relieved Peaty clinches Tokyo Olympics 100m breaststroke gold for Britain

Adam Peaty of Britain celebrates after winning the final of the men's 100m breaststroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Jul 26, 2021. (Photo: AP/Petr David Josek)

TOKYO: Adam Peaty breathed a sigh of relief after becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title on Monday (Jul 26), claiming gold in the 100m breaststroke with the fifth-fastest time in history.

The 26-year-old was the overwhelming favourite, and powered to the line in 57.37 seconds, ahead of Dutchman Arno Kamminga (58.00 seconds), the only other swimmer besides Peaty to ever go under 58 seconds. Italy's Nicolo Martinenghi took bronze in 58.33 seconds.

Looking exhausted but ecstatic, Peaty bowed to the stadium when he climbed out of the pool. He then celebrated in front of his British team-mates, who were at the fanless Tokyo Aquatic Centre to support.

"It means the world to be me," Peaty told BBC Sport. "It is not about who is the best all year round, it is who is the best on the day. It is about who is adaptable and who wants it more.

"When it comes down to it I am not racing for a time, I am racing myself.

"I want to say thank you to my family, my gorgeous partner and gorgeous son. This victory wasn't mine, it was the British team's and my family and friends'. I am just so relieved."

READ: Australia's Titmus wins women's 400m freestyle gold at Tokyo Olympics

READ: Canada's MacNeil wins women's 100m butterfly gold at Tokyo Olympics

The unstoppable Peaty turned at the halfway mark in 26.73 seconds and was never threatened, but failed to break his own world record of 56.88 seconds.

It is now seven years since Peaty last failed to win a 100m breaststroke race, a run that includes his gold medal in Rio in 2016, when he broke the world record in the heats and then again in the final.

Peaty's mother Caroline wrote on Twitter: "So glad that's over, blood pressure must be through the roof lol x Our house was so quiet, we couldn't breath. We are beyond proud of @adam_peaty love you loads."

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: AFP/kg

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