Peaty ready to end Britain's long wait

Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:06pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Adam Peaty is the talk of British swimming as he heads for his first Olympic Games in Rio but at home the discussion is different.

The confident 21-year-old, the 50 and 100 meter breaststroke world record holder who won three golds at last year's world championships in Russia, has a house rule: No talking about swimming.

"We don’t even mention it in my house," says the swimmer, who still lives with his proud parents but plans to move out after Rio.

"You don’t want to be working all that time, all day, just to go back and talk about work again... we have a no-go zone on swimming in my house."

With Peaty tipped to become his country's first male champion in the Olympic pool since Adrian Moorhouse won the 100m breaststroke in Seoul in 1988, one can imagine the rule has been sorely tested.

At London 2012, the British men took only one medal -- a silver for Michael Jamieson in 200m breaststroke. In 2008 in Beijing, when Rebecca Adlington struck gold twice, the only men's medal was in the open water.

Peaty was not even born the last time a British man triumphed in the Olympic pool, although he has seen the 1988 race on video, and does not feel any particular burden of expectation.

Indeed, as he showed in Kazan where he beat South Africa's Olympic 100m champion Cameron van der Burgh in both the breaststroke sprints, he thrives on pressure.   Continued...

Adam Peaty of Britain poses with his gold medal after the men's 50m breaststroke final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 5, 2015.   REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File photo