Swimming: Stunned Peaty thought 'where is everybody?'

Mon Aug 8, 2016 12:17am EDT
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By Mitch Phillips

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Many sportsmen say they 'can't believe it' in the moment of achieving their lifetime goal but in the case of Adam Peaty, who posted another world record and won Britain's Rio first gold on Sunday, it seemed like he really meant it.

"I touched the wall and looked around and thought 'where is everybody?'" Peaty told reporters.

It was hardly surprising as he had just won the Olympic 100 meters breaststroke final with a world record and a remarkable 1.56 seconds ahead of second-placed South African defending champion Cameron van der Burgh.

"It's surreal to win it, to go 57.13 and to win GB's first medal. Honestly, I think you'll have to ask me about it in two days," he added.

Still only 21, Peaty came into the Games as a world, European and Commonwealth champion and the world record holder.

His stunning performance on Sunday has lifted him to a whole new level in the British sporting consciousness - or will do when most of the country wakes up.

Peaty is the country's first male Olympic swimming gold medalist for 28 years and only the fourth in last 100 years, following on from David Wilkie (1976) Duncan Goodhew (1980) and Adrian Moorhouse (1998) - all four of them breaststrokers.

However, none of that illustrious trio demolished the opposition the way Peaty has over two days in Rio.   Continued...

Aug 7, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;  Adam Peaty (GBR) with his gold medal after the men's 100m breaststroke final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports