Fourth place The Poison In Peaty pushing him to Paris: “It’s relentless; almost demonic”
peated adam described the demon of fourth place at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last summer as the “poison in my veins” fueling a relentless pursuit of a trailblazing third gold medal at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
The American swims very well Michael Phelps is the only man to have won the same swimming event at three Olympic Games. Peaty, 28 next month, could be next. from Japan Kosuke Kitajima retained the 100m and 200m titles in 2008, but no breaststroke swimmer has ever won three Olympic crowns in the same event.
On the clock, Peaty still appears to be one of the safest bets for the 2024 Games, despite the setbacks of this season. His world record of 56.88 seconds, the fastest of his 17 swims ahead of anyone else in history, is one second faster than any other man has ever swum, an ocean relative: The second biggest gap between #1 and #2 over 100m on any shot is 0.25sec on the backstroke.
But in Birmingham at the Commonwealth Games last summer, Peaty’s Project Immortality – his aim to set a Beamonesque-type record – went off track when he not only suffered his first 100m loss since his big season of 2014, but completely missed the medals. in the 100m.
He went on to win the 50m title, a prize his pantheon lacked. The win ‘sealed’ his racing days for England: ‘I know this is my last Commonwealth…it sealed it because I knew I had won the 50 and I could do it even one bad day in a bad week. I could still win and tick all the boxes.
Not the 100m box, though. Fourth place as England celebrated gold for team-mate JAmes Wilby left him “gutted”. It was, he said in Summer, “like a train wreck”.
Peaty had taken nearly six months of training after Tokyo, had a starring role in “Strictly” and a taste of life that his dedication in the pool had kept at bay. It showed when he bombed Birmingham.
What Peaty gained from the loss
Peaty withdrew from the European Championships, where Wilby ended a stellar summer season with the European 200m crown, and went to “think and decompress”. He had thought himself good enough to take on hungry rivals with no race training and only three full weeks of specific tank training. A rare mistake but which, according to Peaty, is now paying off.
When asked if the loss was helpful, Peaty replied The temperature & SOS: “Incredibly helpful. It’s like poison in my veins. He never wanted to “live that again”.
The defeat prompted him to demand from his coach Mel Marshall:
“Make me angry! I don’t want… child’s play; I want the old Mel back, right now; I need someone who’s going to say ‘you’re going to play, you’re going to fight, you’re going to do it. ‘age “.
Adam Peaty – Photo, with Mel Marshall, courtesy of MM
No excuses. Lots of hunger. Everything to track down and prove. Any set Marshall puts him in practice, Peaty recalls the pain of fourth and asks if a 5k session can be 6, “if I go 12x50s max is there an option to go 20?”
A man who has matured and profited from the events of 2022, Peaty adds, with a ripple of nervous laughter:
“People call it a competitive advantage. But for me, it’s more than a competitive advantage. It is relentlessness. It’s almost demonic, it honestly overwhelms me. “
Adam Peaty – photo: Adam Peaty on his way to defending the crown in Tokyo – by Patrick B. Kraemer
Rather than turn away from such feelings, Peaty embraces them. He grew a Spitz-style mustache so he’d see “Maverick” in the mirror every morning and now sports a new brass knuckles tattoo that recalls the power of a peat punch when he’s not. is in no mood to compromise: FUEL across his fingers on one hand, RIDE, on the other side, so the pugilistic reach drives every stroke and thrust he makes in breaststroke.
It’s ‘going to be quite difficult, especially not being able to see George for a long time’, says a man who has won 32 out of 45 gold medals for Britain and England since 2014. Peaty will leave Britain in early December, ‘test myself without expectations’ at the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne, then stay in Australia for eight weeks of training under the Aussie sun. Peat says:
“I’ll be staying out on Christmas and New Years Day. And that’s just what’s needed now.” I’ve realized over the past few years that the more successful you are, the more comfortable you feel and feel you deserve more, when in reality it should be the other way around. You would have to suffer more to get the same, if not better, results. So I made this executive decision that I’m in now for the next two years. It just has to work and to do it, you have to suffer.
Peaty Adam – photo courtesy of Speedo
Family life changed abruptly in September when Peaty and his girlfriend Eiri Munro announced an amicable breakup. As difficult as the timing was, says Peaty, it also helped him see the next two years at the Paris Games as a chance to channel all his energies into swimming “less from a pressure point of view than ‘a point of view of freedom’.
“It takes a really good support network,” says Peaty. “Eiri was brilliant. She has always been a brilliant mother. I have nothing bad to say about her. For me, even though we’re apart, it’s about making sure we’re still a team and we still have that common goal. For young George – and “for me, to really cement my legacy now,” he says.
“These next two years are probably the most important of my career,” concludes Peaty. “I know the price of what it’s going to take for the next two years and Mel knows the price.”