Multi-Olympic medalist and world champion Adam Peaty will not be racing at this summer’s FINA World Aquatics Championships set for Budapest, Hungary next month.
The 27-year-old breaststroking ace revealed today that he sustained an injury outside of the pool and will be focusing on his recovery instead of attempting to defend his 50m and 100m breaststroke world titles from the 2019 edition of the typically-biannual competition.
Peaty says of his situation, “Earlier this week whilst training in the gym, I fractured a bone in my foot. I have been advised to rest for 6 weeks which unfortunately takes me out of contention for the FINA World Championships in Budapest next month.
“I’ve fortunately never had to deal with an injury in my swimming career so this is a real blow and a new challenge for me. But I am surrounded by a superb team who will support and guide me through this period and get me to where I need to be.
“I’m already in great hands and starting to recover but, honestly, I’m devastated. I work extremely hard and have dedicated my life to my training so I can be the absolute best I can be in the pool. I was on track for a huge summer so, like when anything doesn’t go according to plan, it’s a really challenging time.
“I won’t compromise my recovery and I will use this time to reflect on what the sport means to me and what it feels like to watch someone else win a race I should be in. It’s not going to be easy! That said, I wish all the best to my competitors.
“I’ll never shy away from a challenge but on this one, I’ve got to use my head more than my heart. But I will be back in the pool just as soon as I can be with my focus now on recovering and building up my strength ahead of the Commonwealth Games this summer.”
The father of one was originally set to have a packed schedule this summer, starting off with the Mare Nostrum circuit this month, then the World Championships in late June, followed by the Commonwealth Games in July and finally capped off by the European Championships on the books for August.
Six weeks from now puts us in the mid-June timeframe which means Peaty will also not be at Mare Nostrum.
When asked about a timeframe for return and what training limitations he faces, Peaty says that he and his staff are still “transitioning and thinking” and will share more when they have it figured out. “Aerobic base will be the hardest to achieve, unfortunately” he said.
Despite his absence from the upcoming World Championships, Peaty previously said he would be primarily focusing on the Commonwealth Games as his primary target for 2022. The Commonwealth Games begin on July 28 in Birmingham, England.
“I’d rather maximize my Commonwealths and Europeans, then take a break, then focus on next year’s Worlds, then take a break then the Olympics,” is what Peaty said last month.
Based on that, we had already pointed to possible contenders ready to take the men’s 100m breaststroke crown in Budapest. Peaty’s absence may open the door for the Dutchman Arno Kamminga, for example, as the two-time Olympic silver medalist is the only other swimmer to ever have delved under the 58-second barrier in the 100m breast.
We’d have to go back to 2013 to see a 50m/100m breaststroke world champion not named Peaty. There in Barcelona it was now-retired Christian Sprenger of Australia who took the 100m breast event title, whereas another retiree, South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh, was the 50m champion.
Peaty had a minor ankle injury last year while competing on the British dance show Strictly Come Dancing, though that didn’t result in any extra time out of the water.