Image: Wikimedia Commons / Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil
Image: Wikimedia Commons / Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil Adam Peaty

European Swimming Championships: Peaty’s dominance continues

Across the last week, Adam Peaty has once again staked his claim to being one of, if not the, most dominant swimmer in his stroke of all time, sweeping to victory in the 100m breaststroke at the European Swimming Championships in Budapest.

This was Peaty’s fourth successive European 100m title, and his superiority shows no signs of relenting, as he swum away from the rest of the field to confirm a result that was a foregone conclusion before the race even started. At times Peaty appears to almost be in something of a race against himself, chasing his own World record that he himself has broken on numerous occasions.

Despite getting off to his customary slow start, allowing Dutchman Arno Kamminga to surge ahead of him, within a few short thrusts of his massive arms, Peaty had caught up, and at the turn was already at the head of the field, streaking away during the last 50m to victory. Kamminga followed up behind in second, while Britain’s James Wilby came through in third.

Despite his dominance, Peaty appeared relatively unconcerned about the victory, instead looking ahead to this Summer’s Olympics: “It’s always difficult coming into this competition as some people are taking it really seriously and are rested.

“There’s nothing wrong with that, but we are unrested and training hard because we like to dominate the Olympics, not the Europeans.”

This has been a successful meet for Great Britain overall

Although perhaps slightly over-confident, if this is an unrested Peaty who is not taking the event ‘seriously’, then his competitors will look on with some trepidation to the main event this summer. Peaty was 0.78 seconds off his world record this time around but, should his current form continue, then it is likely that his own World record will fall once again to himself.

This has been a successful meet for Great Britain overall, with their relay teams particularly dominant. In the 4x100m medley relay, the British team consisting of Peaty, James Guy, Kathleen Dawson and Anna Hopkin smashed the European record, and were only 0.3 seconds of the World record, with the Netherlands and Italy coming in in second and third.

Gold was also won in the 4x200m mixed freestyle relay, while the Great British women triumphed in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

In the individual events, besides Peaty’s gold, Kathleen Dawson won gold in somewhat controversial circumstances in the 100m backstroke, with the race having to be re-run after a false start, while Molly Renshaw also got gold in the 200m breast. Duncan Scott, Kathleen Dawson and Aimee Wilmot all claimed silvers, which means that Great Britain have overhauled Russia in the overall medals table, a lead they will look to hold onto heading into the final events today (Sunday 23 May).

While it will take some effort to overhaul the USA in the main event in Tokyo, Great Britain will leave this event with huge amounts of confidence, welcoming a return to normality after a year of empty pools and empty stadiums, with proper racing, finally, back on.

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