Disclaimer: Blueseventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The blueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Great Britain’s Adam Peaty continued what has now been five years of otherwordly dominance in the men’s 100 breaststroke, setting a new world record at the European Championships.
Using his famously-high turnover, Peaty powered away from the Euros field and finished in – at the time – 57.00, taking more than a tenth off his own world record from the 2016 Olympics. Interestingly, a timing system error was later discovered, explaining the entire field’s unnatural reaction times on the start, and the entire field’s finishes were readjusted by a tenth. That pushed Peaty back to 57.10, still under his old record and still not quite at his goal: the first 56-second breaststroke in history.
Peaty is, of course, already the first man under 58. But he’s not satisfied yet. Branding it “Project 56” on social media, Peaty has made it his stated goal to break 57 for the first time. With the chaos following this weeks’ Euros time adjustments, Peaty’s 57.00-then-57.10 turned out to be the best of both worlds: it was fast enough that Peaty didn’t break a world record only to see it taken away with the equipment readjust. And it was slow enough that we didn’t see the first 56 and the culmination of Peaty’s goal wiped out due to equipment malfunction.
Peaty now gets another year to push for 56, and can add another year to his reign atop the world breaststroke throne. Peaty has won every major 100 breaststroke since his rapid rise in 2014: 2014 Euros, 2015 Worlds, the 2016 Olympics, the 2017 Worlds and the 2018 Euros. He’s set the world record four times since 2015, and could complete a huge cycle of dominance if he stays on top through the 2020 Olympics.
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