Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top Gun Peaty Wants to Be World Swimming's

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top Gun Peaty Wants to Be World Swimming's

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie Sports Correspondent EXCLUSIVE

ADAM PEATY wants to become the Michael Phelps of British swimming and already has the greatest swimmer of all time as an admirer. Peaty twice blasted his own world record for the 100metre breaststroke en route to winning Britain's first gold medal in Rio and produced such a blistering leg in the 4x100m medley relay that even Phelps, with 23 Olympic titles to his name, was blown away.

Now the 21-year-old, in London today for the Olympic and Paralympic parade, has his sights on being as dominant as the American.

"I'd love to be a British Michael Phelps in terms of dominance," Peaty told Standard Sport. "It will take a lot of time and he's obviously done it over so many Olympics."

Peaty stormed to his Rio gold more than two months ago in a world record time of 57.13 seconds, more than a second and a half clear of Cameron van der Burgh in second place. The Briton was even quicker in the 4x100m medley relay, touching in a time of 56.59sec to close up on an American quartet which included Phelps.

"It was just before we went on the podium and he said, 'Peaty that was amazing'," he says, recalling their poolside encounter. "He couldn't believe, and I still don't believe it -- 56/57 seconds is very, very fast." Such was his dominance over the rest of the world's best breaststrokers that fivetime Olympian Mark Foster said no one would get close to Peaty's world record except the swimmer himself.

Foster also suggested Peaty would have picked up a medal had he also swum over the 200m even without having focused on it in training. Having blazed such a trail on the world's biggest stage, is there not a danger that the motivation could diminish for Peaty, who two weeks ago returned to training for the first time since the Games? "This is just the beginning for me," he said. "It's the end of the beginning as I like to call it.

"I was able to perform at my best at my first Olympics but I truly believe my best is yet to come.

"I do believe I could have come away from the 200m with a medal but that was a risk at my first Olympics and might have had an impact on my 100m. …

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