Swimming

British swimmer Adam Peaty turns up the heat with treble feat

British swimmer becomes first to capture three 100m breaststroke world titles

Britain's Adam Peaty became the first male swimmer to capture three 100m breaststroke world titles by completing his golden treble in dominant fashion yesterday.

The 24-year-old, unbeaten in five years over the distance in major competitions, clocked 57.14sec, a day after smashing his own world record by ducking under 57 seconds in the semi-finals - also a first.

Peaty previously shared the record of two 100m breaststroke world titles with American Brendan Hansen and Hungary's Norbert Rozsa.

He also became the first man to bag five world championship medals in breaststroke events.

Yesterday, he burst from the blocks once again, turning just inside world-record pace and leaving his rivals scrapping for the silver and bronze.

Fellow Briton James Wilby emerged with the silver after clocking 58.46, with China's Yan Zibei taking bronze in an Asian record of 58.63.

Peaty, who set a new world best of 56.88 at the semi-finals on Sunday, puffed out his cheeks and gave a wry smile after looking up at the giant screen to see he did not manage to lower his mark.

He said: "That constant expectation I put on myself is a little bit disappointed in me, but that will fuel me for next year because I know how bad I want to go low 56, even faster now, and I know exactly how to do it."

Peaty, who still has the 50m breaststroke to come in Gwangju, South Korea, said he had learnt a lot going into next year's Tokyo Olympics, where he will defend his Rio title.

Caeleb Dressel, one of the few swimmers with more body ink than Peaty, blazed to the 50m butterfly crown in a championship record of 22.35sec with Russian Oleg Kostin second (22.70) and Brazil's Nicholas Santos third (22.79).

It gave him a second gold medal of the week, after leading off the American 4x100m freestyle victory on day one.

Elsewhere, Canadian teen Margaret MacNeil stunned Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom in the women's 100m butterfly.

Sjostrom was looking to become the first female swimmer to win five gold medals in a single individual event, and the Olympic champion turned first - and five-hundredths inside her own world record.

But MacNeil came roaring back over the last 25m to claim her first world title, touching in 55.83, with Sjostrom second in 56.22 and Australia's Emma McKeon third.

"I didn't expect that," said the 19-year-old MacNeil.

"I've looked up to Sarah forever, so it means the world."

At the medal ceremony, the swimmers sent a message of support to Japanese rival Rikako Ikee, who was diagnosed with leukaemia earlier this year.

The trio wrote "Never give up, Rikako Ikee" and drew hearts on their palms, which they held up to photographers in a touching show of solidarity.

Hungary's "Iron Lady" Katinka Hosszu sped to her fourth world title in the women's 200m individual medley, her time of 2:07.53 more than a second faster the silver medallist Ye Shiwen of China.

Canadian Sydney Pickrem (2:08.70) came in third. - AFP

 

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