British superstar Adam Peaty has literally been taking the breaststroking world by storm, clocking world records and collecting gold medals in his unbeaten stretch since 2014. To add another level of intensity to mix, the 22-year-old, who says he swims ‘because he’s not good at anything else’ is going on the offensive in Budapest, aimed at not just maintaining status quo.
“I won’t be in Budapest to defend my titles, I’ll be there to attack them,” explained Peaty. “Attack just seems a little bit more aggressive and is more my personality. I’m not really one to sit back and just let it happen.
“The guys lined up next to me will all share the same mind-set. We all want to put on a show, we all want to put on a spectacle that everyone loves. You want to put it on for you fans, your friends and your family that support you all of the way.
“At the end of it all it’s just a race and I like to attack those. For me attack is the best form of defence.”
The National Centre, Loughborough-based swimmer heads into Budapest as the untouchable world leader in both breaststroke sprint distances, holding a season-best time of 57.79 in the 100m and 26.48 in the 50m. His eye-popping mark of 57.13 from his gold medal-winning outing in Rio stands as the 100m breaststroke world record, while he also is king of the 50m with a fastest time-ever of 26.42 from the 2015 World Championships.
Peaty states that, “I’m in a better shape mentally and physically than in previous seasons. I’m going into the World Championships in a good place. I had a really good winter of training following two months off after Rio.
“We’ve tried a few different things in all of our preparation events leading up to these championships. I’ve looked in detail at my race skills, have worked hard to address any weakness and the result is that I’m stronger now. I’m looking forward to putting these to the test.
“I want to pick up from where I left off in Rio but sport is sport and anything can happen. I respect that I’ll be in a line with other guys and it will be anybody’s race. That said I’m in a good place, I feel confident and I’m the current World Champion but I also respect that I’m racing the best in the world as well.”
Recent history has proven that when Peaty is in the water, he is the overwhelming favorite for gold in the 100m distance. Although he is also a beast in the 50m, in that short of a race, anything can happen to tip the scales in someone else’s favor in the fury of the battle. But, Peaty is ready for anything.
“I’ve had some great training this year and enjoyed the prep camp in Edinburgh. My bodyweight and skin folds are good. Everything that supports that high performance swim is where it needs to be,” said Peaty.
“Mentally I’m in one of the best places I’ve been. I’m happy, confident in training and have belief that the work Mel [Coach Mel Marshall] and I have been doing has put me in the right shape at the right time.
“This team is looking good and there is a bond there which I’ve not seen before. There’s a great group of rookie athletes and the more senior guys are here to help them.
“It’s a completely regenerated team following retirements after Rio. All of a sudden I’m looking like one of the older athletes on the team which is quite scary but it’s a responsibility that I enjoy in passing along the knowledge and experience to the newcomers on the team. All of the gears are working as a really well-oiled engine.”
Quotes courtesy of British Swimming.