GLASGOW - Adam Peaty said he wanted to "dominate" his rivals after smashing his own world record in the 100 metres breaststroke at the European Championships in Glasgow on Saturday.
The British swimmer stopped the clock at 57 seconds dead as he obliterated both his rivals and his own previous best mark of 57.13 seconds, which he set on the way to winning Olympic gold at Rio 2016.
It marked a remarkable return to form for the 23-year-old, who had cut a dejected figure at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year, where he won in an uncharacteristically slow time of 58.84sec as well as being beaten over his less-favoured shorter distance of 50m.
"I don't just want to win -- I want to dominate," said a delighted Peaty. "That's not an arrogant side, it's just the competitive side in me. I wasn't going out there to break the world record but when I got to 50m I thought, this is so easy.
"Then I came back and all the passion and emotion of the let-down of the Commonwealths really fuelled that. After the heats yesterday I knew I was in good shape. After the semi I was back in the 58sec but it just shows what you can do if you have a positive mental attitude."
Peaty's superiority was such that his British teammate James Wilby, who took silver, finished more than one-and-a-half seconds behind him in 58.54. Peaty, still the only man to have cracked the 58-second barrier, now stands on the brink of achieving his long-held and personal "Project 56" campaign.
"It gives me another level of motivation," said Peaty of narrowly failing to beat 57 seconds two years ahead of schedule. "If I'd done it, everybody would have started to talk about 'Project 55'. It's a great place to be in, to break the world record by a marginal gain and two years out (from Tokyo 2020). It leaves me and Great Britain in a very good place."
WORLD RECORD! I can’t put into words how much this meant to me, my team and my family. My 10th WR tonight and have even bigger plans in the future! THANKYOU! pic.twitter.com/sCjH2XSWVn— Adam Peaty MBE (@adam_peaty) August 4, 2018
Brimming with new-found enthusiasm, Peaty had indicated he was back close to his best when he timed 57.89 in his opening heat on Friday. Despite dipping just outside 58 seconds in his semi-final, Peaty suggested he had deliberately eased off to save himself for Saturday -- and his tactic paid off as he emphatically delivered in front of his home crowd.
Peaty, who will seek to restore his 50m dominance later this week, added: "When you go four years without losing you kind of get complacent and you need the team around you to get you back on track.
"I've still got a job to do this week then we'll see what happens. There's so many questions to answer right now. I almost didn't train too hard for today but I got the balance right. Hopefully I've still got 10 more years left in the sport."AFP