Adam Peaty retains Olympic title with Britain's first gold of Tokyo Olympics

Great Britain's Adam Peaty poses with his gold medal on the podium after winning the Men's 100m Breaststroke final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Monday July 26, 2021.
Great Britain's Adam Peaty poses with his gold medal on the podium after winning the Men's 100m Breaststroke final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Monday July 26, 2021.

While he was unable to break his own world record of 56.88 seconds, the 26-year-old from Uttoxeter stormed to Team GB’s first gold of Tokyo 2020 in a time of 57.37secs

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Adam Peaty became the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title with a characteristically dominant display in the final of the men’s 100 metres breaststroke at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

While he was unable to break his own world record of 56.88 seconds, the 26-year-old from Uttoxeter stormed to Team GB’s first gold of Tokyo 2020 in a time of 57.37secs.

Closest challenger Arno Kamminga, the only swimmer other than Peaty to breach the 58-second barrier in this event, was a distant 0.63s behind in second.

Great Britain's Adam Peaty in action during the Men's 100m Breaststroke final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
Great Britain's Adam Peaty in action during the Men's 100m Breaststroke final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

Nicolo Martinenghi collected bronze in a time of 58.33s as Peaty’s compatriot James Wilby missed out on a podium position, settling for fifth as he clocked 58.96s.

There was an air of inevitability to Peaty’s victory as he recorded the fifth fastest time in the history. Not only is his personal best over this distance almost one second better than anyone else in the sport, but he continued a proud record of being undefeated in seven years in major competitions.

“I haven’t felt this good since 2016, it just means the world to me,” Peaty told the BBC.

“I didn’t have the best preparation of my life. But you throw that out the window.

“That’s really what it takes to be an athlete. It’s not who’s the best all year round, it’s who’s the best on the day.”

Alex Yee also won a silver medal on his Olympic debut in the men's triathlon. The 23-year-old was looking to follow in the footsteps of Alistair Brownlee by making it three successive British golds at the Games but it was Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt who proved the strongest on the run at Odaiba Marine Park.

Great Britain's Alex Yee celebrates with his silver medal after the Men's Triathlon at the Odaiba Marine Park on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Monday July 26, 2021.
Great Britain's Alex Yee celebrates with his silver medal after the Men's Triathlon at the Odaiba Marine Park on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Monday July 26, 2021.

Jonny Brownlee, who was bidding for a medal at a third successive Olympics having won bronze in London and silver in Rio, had to settle for fifth.

After standing on the podium to receive his medal, Yee said: “It hasn’t really sunk in quite yet, it doesn’t feel quite real that it’s me yet.

“I still just feel like a normal boy from south-east London. I hope I can just serve as inspiration to many people that this is possible. I’m not anything special, I just really enjoy sport and I’ve been really lucky that it was me.

“I still feel like I’m a child of the sport, I’m going into every race trying to learn things. If I can carry on improving my swim then I can be a bit higher up and be in the race every time and that’s the goal for me, just to become the complete athlete rather than be winning everything, and fame and money.”