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Swim star Adam Peaty vows to use shock defeat to fuel his bid for glory at the Paris Olympics  

‘I’m still angry. I’ll think about it for the next two years’: Adam Peaty admits he SMELLs over the shocking 100m defeat despite claiming 50m gold…

  • Adam Peaty surprisingly finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke final
  • He will use the memories of a rare defeat as his main source of motivation
  • The 27-year-old won a redeeming gold in the 50m breaststroke 48 hours later

Adam Peaty sits upstairs in the Birmingham Library, a good place to pause for a moment.

It has been, as he puts it, an “emotional week” – from the pain of losing his first meaningful 100m breaststroke race in eight years to the ecstasy of completing his big medal set with a win in the 50th. meters, and a lot of talking in between.

Peaty, 27, is now going out of the water and out of the limelight for a much-needed month. But before he does, he’s back in Birmingham to look back on his Games. And for all his highs and lows, he says there’s one important moment he’ll take home with him. Not his gold medal but memories of that time when he finished fourth.

Adam Peaty has endured an emotional rollercoaster at the Commonwealth Games this week

“It still makes me angry just thinking about it,” Peaty said of his shock loss on Sunday. “I will think about it easily for the next two years. Because what other jet fuel do I have?

“The strategy now is to use that loss to propel me into new territory. I said the other day that the spark has been rekindled and I can always see it because I’m a little angry, but that’s the way I have to be.

‘You need a check-in moment. That defeat hit me very hard. The 50m is the 50m and I came back and did that. But at the same time I’m not happy about losing.’

There were, of course, extenuating circumstances for that defeat. Peaty broke his foot in May and could have easily sat out these Games. But as the three-time Olympic champion says, “A defeat is a defeat. It doesn’t matter if I broke a hand or a foot, I showed up anyway.’

The 27-year-old celebrates after winning the final of the 50-meter breaststroke on Tuesday evening

The 27-year-old celebrates after winning the final of the 50-meter breaststroke on Tuesday evening

In fact, the loss hit him so hard that he even briefly considered hanging up his glasses. “Many athletes consider running away from it, especially at the low points,” Peaty says. ‘Because you think, ‘What do I actually get out of the sport? Are there more important things in my life now? Do I want to switch to a normal job or do something else?’.

Fortunately, those thoughts have been put to bed. After a four-week break, it’s heading full steam ahead for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. And unlike last year when he took the time to participate in Strictly Come Dancing, there won’t be any showbiz distractions this winter.

“Absolutely not, it’s corporate time now,” Peaty said at a gig for sponsor Speedo. ‘I just need to reduce the noise and that is purely focused on training. Training has to come first, because I missed two winters.’

Peaty was stunned when he lost his first meaningful 100m breaststroke race in eight years

Peaty was stunned when he lost his first meaningful 100m breaststroke race in eight years

Whether Paris will be his last tango remains to be seen. He has previously said he wants to retire in Los Angeles 2028, but after his chaotic Commonwealths, nothing is certain anymore.

“So much has changed in the last two years that I can’t predict what will happen in the next two years,” he adds. “I would like to finish very well and solidly, but there are so many variables.

“I’m not going to call it close now. I’m just going to do what I have to do in Paris and see what happens.’

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