Adam Peaty: Swimming broke me but I am finding peace in the water now

by 24britishtvApril 3, 2024, 8 p.m. 20
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For context, his 56.88sec world record, set in 2019, is almost exactly one second quicker again. The more intriguing benchmark for now is the 24-year-old Haiyang, who lowered his personal best last year to 57.64sec, and will himself be expecting further improvement over the course of 12 months.

It is all set up for a mouth-watering showdown in Paris between the Chinese 2023 world champion and Peaty, a defending double Olympic champion who has found new perspective after trying to move beyond wrapping his entire self worth in simply winning.

“A few years ago, I’d have come out of there disappointed,” Peaty said after a win that also confirmed his Olympic place. “I’ve learnt to appreciate the moments of greatness for myself. For me, that was a great swim, executed well - but the most promising thing is that I’m finding peace in the water now, instead of anger and just fighting it, and trying to win like that.

“I’m finding a new version of myself which I’m really liking, and I think that’s a version that can do really well at the Olympics.

“This is a real win for my team, my family and myself. I didn’t know what route to go down and so many things got in my way. But now I am waking up each day and enjoying my job. Who knows what the ending is going to be but I am having fun along the way.”

James Wilby, who finished second to Peaty, missed the 59.45sec nomination time by an agonising 0.02 seconds but could still be one of a maximum 30 swimmers nominated by Aquatics GB following the championships’ conclusion on Sunday.

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