Rio 2016 Olympic Previews: Peaty Smashing Records In Men’s 100 Breast

Men’s 100 Breast

Peaty touches the wall well ahead of his competitors.

Adam Peaty (Photo: Peter Sukenik)

In 2015, Great Britain’s Adam Peaty shattered the World Record in the men’s 100 breast, swimming a herculean 57.92 to become the first swimmer to ever break 58 seconds. He wasn’t able to match that time later in the summer, but he still managed to win his first World Championship title with a 58.52 in Kazan. Peaty has already been faster than that this year, as he now leads the 2016 World Rankings with his 58.36 from the 2016 European Championships.

2012 Olympic champion Cameron Van Der Burgh will return to the Olympic stage for South Africa after placing 2nd behind Peaty in Kazan. His 58.49 from last summer was his fastest swim of this Olympic cycle, and just 3-hundredths slower than his winning time in London. Van Der Burgh will have his prior experience and killer front half speed on his side, but he’ll be hard pressed by Peaty, who will be chasing gold at his first Olympics.


Kevin Cordes (Photo: Tim Binning)

Both Americans who qualified in this event will also be swimming in their first Olympics this summer. In 2015, Team USA didn’t have a finalist in this race at the World Championships. Things are looking up for the Americans this summer after Kevin Cordes broke the American Record in semifinals at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials to become the 2nd fastest man in 2016. Cordes is heading to the Games with a personal best 58.94, and not far behind him is his Rio teammate Cody Miller with a 59.09 for 4th in the world this year. Miller narrowly missed the final at Worlds last summer with a 9th place finish.

Ranked 6th in the world in 2016 is Peaty’s teammate Ross Murdoch, who won bronze at Worlds last summer. Murdoch made a huge drop at that meet, swimming a 59.09 to get on the podium. This season, he’s been close to that with a 59.31 at British Championships, so we could see him dip into the 58-range as he battles for a medal in Rio.

Giedrius Titenis (Photo: Peter-Sukenik)

World Championship finalists Giedrius Titenis and Jake Packard are currently 11th and 12th in the world this year, respectively. Lithuania’s Titenis broke 59 in semifinals at Worlds, posting a 58.94. That made him one of just five swimmers who have been sub-59 since 2012. Titenis wasn’t able to match that time in finals, clocking a 59-mid for 7th behind Australia’s Packard. Packard swam his lifetime best in that race with a 59.44, and could drop further into the 59-low range for a finals swim.

China’s Wang Lizhou became the first Chinese swimmer to break 1:00 in this event last September, and could be well on his way to a top 8 finish in Rio. Lizhou broke the Chinese National Record in this event last month, posting a season best 59.60 that ranks him 7th in the world this year. China hasn’t publicized its official Olympic roster, but it seems a good bet Wang will be a part of it, unless he faces a more serious penalty for testing positive for clenbuterol in 2015 than originally indicated. So far, reports have indicated Wang will face a “warning penalty” from the Chinese federation, but no official ban from competition.

Brazil’s Felipe Silva and Joao Gomes will be looking to grab medals in this event on their home turf, and they’re in a strong position to do so with a pair of 59-lows already this year. Both swam their season bests at the Maria Lenk Trophy, which served as a test event for the Games. Gomes won the race there with 59.06 that ranks him 3rd in the world, with Silva just behind in 59.26.

Men’s 100 Breast Top 8 Predictions:

Place Swimmer Country Best Time (Since 2012 Olympics) Predicted Time
1 Adam Peaty GBR 57.92 57.7 WR
2 Cameron van der Burgh RSA 58.49 58.4
3 Kevin Cordes USA 58.94 58.7
4 Joao Gomes BRA 59.06 58.9
5 Ross Murdoch GBR 59.09 59.3
6 Cody Miller USA 59.06 59.5
7 Felipe Silva BRA 59.26 59.5
8 Giedrius Titenis LIT 58.96 59.7


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4 years ago

Why so much optimism on Van der Brugh? He only swam 59.61 this year.

Captain Awesome
Reply to  Damiansport1
4 years ago

Because unlike everyone I doubt he’s had to taper at all to qualify for the South African team.

Reply to  Captain Awesome
4 years ago

And Chad

4 years ago

1. Peaty
2. Cordes

4 years ago

I think peaty needs to realize that he has more endurance then everyone who can even come close to him. Van Der Burgh will probably go out in the 26.x zone like always, and if peaty can go out with him there is no way Van Der Burgh will out split him the second 50.

Reply to  Track
4 years ago

Its his starts that are so poor compared to Cameron hes playing catch up if he was a better starter nobody would touch him at the 50m mark or the 100 m mark

Reply to  SHM
4 years ago

still, peatys 50 breast time is far better than camerons (about a quarter second) so he should still be able to ho out as fast or faster than cameron in a 100.

Reply to  anonymoose
4 years ago

He’ll be ahead at the 50m mark but hes playing the catch up come the 30 metre mark when he perfects his starts he could be ridiculously fast

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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