Favourite Peaty now a marked man, says Britain's coach

Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:45am EDT
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By Rod Gilmour

KAZAN, Russia - Britain's Adam Peaty competes at his first world championships on Sunday targetting double gold and with the 20-year-old's breaststroke rivals gunning for him.

In the last year Peaty has secured Commonwealth and European titles in the 100 meters and 50m respectively and holds the world record in both events.

It is no wonder people are expecting great things, but Bill Furniss, the Great Britain head coach, warned that Peaty's exploits have made him a marked man.

"He knows he has a target on his back," Furniss said of Peaty's debut world championship and likely Rio 2016 campaign.

"What he's done in the last three years is that he has come through the ranks and shaken the breaststroke world up.

"He now has to handle great expectations and everyone will be gunning for him."

At the Europeans in Berlin, his four-gold bounty was topped with a 50m world record in his semi-final -- the image of the championships that of Peaty smiling and flexing his muscles.

At the world trials in London he clocked 57.92 seconds in the 100m to shatter the previous mark of Cameron van der Burgh, his South African 'idol' turned rival, by 0.54 seconds.   Continued...

Adam Peaty of Britain swims in the men's 200m breaststroke heats at the European Swimming Championships in Berlin August 20, 2014.                     REUTERS/Michael Dalder