Adam Peaty bounced back from “bottom line” as he ended a rollercoaster ride of the past few days by winning gold in the men’s 50m breaststroke in his final Commonwealth Games race.
Peaty’s eight-year unbeaten 100-meter streak ended on Sunday and he admitted he expected too much of himself in his comeback after a broken foot sustained in a training accident 10 weeks ago.
But he warned his rivals that he was like a cornered lion ready to bite back and claimed the only major gold medal missing from his vast collection after being the first to hit the wall in 26.76 seconds would have.
He had indicated he was “not worried” about these Games, with the 2024 Olympics a priority, but after crossing the finish line 0.21s ahead of silver medalist Sam Williamson of Australia and bronze-winning Scotland’s Ross Murdoch Peaty made a lane marker and let out a huge roar of emotion.
Peaty revealed it was Murdoch who persuaded him to compete in the event 48 hours after his fourth place finish in the 100m which the Englishman revealed left him close to rock bottom.
“I was at the bottom,” said the three-time Olympic champion and 50m and 100m world record holder. “I was almost guaranteed to have something taken away from me. I took it for granted.
“I told Ross I didn’t want to do the 50m and he said I would regret it for years, for the rest of my life. What happened (in the finale) was the emotion and the rawness – you could see that.
“I had problems because I had no racing experience. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just went down with my heart and soul. It has taken a long time to find that. They were very tough games, very tough games.
“I literally came from the lowest point. But guess what, I’m a fighter. I won’t let anyone else come and take it. They have to work hard for that. It’s a sweet win for me.”
Ex-swimmer Mark Foster branded Peaty’s derogatory remarks about the games after Monday’s semifinals as “disrespectful,” but the 27-year-old backtracked moments later on social media.
His reaction to Tuesday’s win – which was greeted by deafening cheers at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, just over an hour’s drive from his birthplace in Uttoxeter – suggests he will be back in those games after his first 50m title after silver in Glasgow 2014 and still loving the Gold Coast in 2018.
“Mark hasn’t done that for a long time,” Peaty said. “That was my kind of scapegoat. It means a lot to me. you saw that But I want to apologize to everyone who worked hard to get to these games.
“I had many adversities. I thought, “I’m retiring here.” It just goes to show, even if the odds are against you, even if you’re against yourself, give yourself a chance to pick yourself up and give it a try.
“I literally gave absolutely everything in this race. I don’t care about the time or the result. I just care about the crowd, enjoy the race and win.”
Peaty wants to keep “working”, but added that this is “very dangerous territory for me – and for everyone else” so he will be taking an extended break before continuing his preparations for Paris 2024.
“My family is going to force me because it’s going to be a long two years and I don’t want to burn out like last year,” he said.
“Now I have this renewed hunger for Paris. I have to prove something – and then I’m dangerous.”
Elsewhere, Brodie Williams won his first major gold medal in the men’s 200m backstroke with a winning time in the final of one minute and 56.40 seconds, just a hundredths of a second ahead of Australian Bradley Woodward.
Williams’ England team-mate and Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Luke Greenbank led to the final corner before fading in the closing stages to eventually finish fifth.
James Guy had a spectacular finish in the men’s 100m butterfly, moving up from fifth place after half-time and taking silver as he finished second alongside Australia’s Matthew Temple in a time of 51.40 seconds, with the pair Finished 0.16 seconds behind Canadian Joshua Liendo.
Laura Stephens took silver in the women’s 200m butterfly, while England quartet Lauren Cox, James Wilby, Guy and Freya Anderson took bronze in the 4×100 mixed medley relay, while James Hollis in the 100m butterfly S10 the men also took bronze.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/mark-foster-england-australia-paris-gold-coast-b2136872.html Emotional Adam Peaty recovers from ‘bottoming out’ to complete big medal set