“Put a lion in a corner, they’ll bite” – Adam Peaty on rebounding


Adam Peaty has wondered if his enthusiasm for swimming is waning, but warned anyone who would write him off, saying, “If you back a lion into a corner, they’re going to bite.”

Hours after a surprise fourth place finish in the men’s 100m breaststroke final at the Commonwealth Games, ending an unbeaten eight-year record at his favorite event, Peaty was back in the pool.

The 27-year-old was joint fastest in the morning runs of the 50-meter discipline, but with a semi-final time of 27.03 seconds, two hundredths of a second slower than the Australian Sam Williamson in the evening.

Adam Peaty qualified second fastest for men’s 50m breaststroke final (Tim Goode/PA)

(PA wire)

Peaty is still digesting what happened on Sunday night and while he admitted he might have expected too much from a broken foot in his comeback, he openly questioned whether his desire remains the same.

But the three-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in the 50m and 100m breaststroke said: “If you back a lion into a corner, they’re going to bite. I’m backed into a corner now, but I’m okay with that.

“It’s just as important in an athlete’s career to have those moments. You think, “Do I want to be here? Do I love the sport as much as I do?’. I do not know. I have to address these questions.

“I haven’t really had a winter block where I reset. I haven’t even had a chance to know where I’m going, it’s almost like getting in a car with no destination.

“I’ve only been in the water for four weeks, I’ve set way too many expectations for myself and now I’m still in debriefing and will be for the next three or four weeks. Obviously it was a devastating night for me.”

If you corner a lion, they will bite. I’m backed into a corner now, but I’m okay with that

Adam Peaty

Peaty expressed some irritation at waiting on the springboard after his semifinals, where he was more than a second slower than his personal best of 25.95 seconds, set five years ago.

He said: “It was the same in the 100 meters and the same this morning. They either have to change what they’re doing or change the starter.”

Peaty admitted he only slept a few hours as he struggled to relax after finishing behind compatriot James Wilby and Australian pair Zac Stubblety-Cook and Williamson on Sunday.

He intends to miss the relay competitions, but Peaty said he’s always anxious to compete on Monday to win the one major medal missing from his collection, while taking some solace from the advice of James Guy, who added his English Team said pal “don’t let swimming define you” after his upset loss.

Peaty said, “It was a bit of a switch. As athletes we always think that our results define us and the whole world sees us as those results.

James Wilby is also in the 50m breaststroke final (Tim Goode/PA)

(PA wire)

“But I still won every single championship, set all the world records, that wasn’t taken away from me, I just had a bad day in the office.

“I found that love again (on Monday) but maybe because I have nothing to lose. I’m not looking for gold, I’m just looking for my best possible swim.”

Peaty has a rough plan to get back on top as he wants to continue until at least Paris 2024.

He said: “I almost know what I have to do. I’m carrying way too much body weight, way too much muscle for the 100m, so I need to lose four kilos. That’s just getting out of my head.

“But it really comes down to training, you can’t hide from training and this year I just can’t get enough of it.”

Wilby qualified for Tuesday night’s 50m breaststroke final in a time of 27.65 seconds, as did fellow Englishman Greg Buttler in 27.68 seconds and Scottish pair Craig Benson (27.64) Ross Murdoch (27 .69 seconds). “Put a lion in a corner, they’ll bite” – Adam Peaty on rebounding

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