Tokyo Olympics: Breakdowns and hiding emotions – history maker Peaty on 'heavy investment' of winning gold

By Sports Desk July 26, 2021

Adam Peaty revealed he has gone through "breakdowns" and has had to hide emotions from his family after becoming a double Olympic champion.

It was another dominant performance from world-record holder Peaty in the 100 metres breaststroke at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with a time of 57.37 – the fifth fastest in history – enough for him to make history as the first British swimmer to defend an Olympics title.

Peaty is unbeaten in the event in seven years and only one other swimmer has ever breached the 58-second mark – that being silver medallist Arno Kamminga.

Despite his dominance, Peaty spoke about the challenges he has faced, with the 26-year-old having become a father to his son George within the past year.

He said: "It's been a heavy investment. A lot has changed this last year, more than the last five. Becoming a father, buying my first house and some days when I woke up and was like 'this is hard, this is really hard'.

"There's been so many challenges, so many challenges and f*****g some breakdowns as well. 

"It's like 'what am I doing every single day? Why am I training three times a day, giving it everything for this swim?'.

"I've hidden a lot of emotion from my own family, I've hidden a lot of stress and a lot of those moments where I was like 'this is very, very hard'.

"The 99.9 per cent of time that we spend in the dark is for the 0.01 per cent we spend in light."

Having made history, Peaty was asked how much longer he foresees himself staying in the pool, with the Paris Games three years away.

"I think of sport very simply, as soon as I stop having fun I'll stop, I'm still having fun, I have a lot of fun with my boy, I have a lot of fun at home and having a normal life too," he added.

"It's such a big decision, it's a family decision now, not just me being a selfish athlete because we have to be selfish but we'll have that conversation when we're home. 

"Obviously, we're targeting Paris anyway, anything after that is a bonus really. It's about how young you keep your mind, sport is getting faster, the world is getting faster, you have to take that in to consideration too.

"It depends what else is out there, if I can inspire people in other ways I'll probably do that. But I live in the present."

Related items

  • Brady's rapport with Bucs' terrifying talent continuing to blossom Brady's rapport with Bucs' terrifying talent continuing to blossom

    In Week 4, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced an AFC East defense and by, their standards, looked out of sync. In Week 5, they faced an AFC East defense and could hardly have looked more impressive.

    Freed from the rainy confines of Foxborough and away from the defensive scheming of his old boss Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers routed a Miami Dolphins team whose rebuild appears poised to come crashing down 45-17 to improve to 4-1 on the season.

    Back in the Florida sunshine, it was very much a return to business as usual for the Bucs, but, for Tampa Bay, business as usual is looking steadily more remarkable.

    Speaking after Sunday's game, running back Leonard Fournette said: "Prior to the third quarter Rich [Richard Sherman] came up to me and said, 'Man, I've never been part of a team with so much talent.'

    "And I'm telling him like, and excuse my language, but this s*** is different."

    It is tough to disagree with Fournette's assessment of the Super Bowl champions. When performing at their peak, the Bucs appear to be on a different level to almost every team in the NFL.

    They were several leagues above their in-state neighbours at the weekend, with the gulf in class illustrated by a rapport between Brady and arguably the NFL's premier group of wide receivers that appears to be growing ever stronger.

    Brady heading for more history

    Brady finished with 411 yards passing and five touchdowns against the Dolphins for a 144.4 passer rating, tying Peyton Manning with his ninth career game with at least five touchdown passes. Only Drew Brees (11) has more in NFL history.

    It was his 36th game with at least four touchdown passes, taking him past Manning (35) and one shy of Brees. Brees (16), Manning (14) and Dan Marino (13) are the only players with more 400 passing-yard games than Brady's 12.

    A 62-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown marked Brady's 45th of 50 or more yards, moving him level with Brees and John Hadl for the third most in league history. Johnny Unitas (51) and Manning (46) stand ahead of him in that regard.

    Leading the league in passing yards (1,767) and second in passing touchdowns (15) and plays of 25 yards or more (16), Brady will be a strong bet to keep moving up those lists, provided he and his wideouts continue operating at a level that left a Dolphins defense known for producing momentum-stopping takeaways powerless to stem the tide.

    Pressure? What pressure?

    Brady delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 81.6 per cent of his pass attempts against Miami. The average for the week heading into Monday was 81.7, but Brady was close to that mark while also averaging 10.53 air yards per attempt.

    Only two quarterbacks who averaged more air yards had a better well-thrown percentage. Russell Wilson was accurate on 93.3 per cent with 12.00 air yards per attempt before his injury, and Josh Allen was on target 87.5 per cent of the time with an average of 12.46 air yards.

    It was under pressure where Brady stood out in Week 5, as his first of two touchdown hookups with Brown saw him stand in against the interior rush and deliver a perfectly timed ball to the former Pittsburgh Steeler on a crossing route despite falling away from the throw.

    Brown was able to collect the pass in stride, racing into open space to find the endzone and give the Bucs a 17-10 lead they never looked like relinquishing.

    Arguably as impressive was Brady's 34-yard bomb to Mike Evans. The first of two touchdown catches for Evans, Brady dropped a downfield shot into the bucket despite dealing with late-arriving pressure from the backside and Byron Jones being in phase in good trail position covering the receiver.

    Brady was accurate on four of his five attempts under pressure, on which he averaged 9.80 air yards, with his release time of 2.41 seconds on those passes the second-fastest in the NFL.

    In a league increasingly dominated by quarterbacks who can escape pressure with their legs, Brady is a 44-year-old statue winning through his mind and his arm operating at a faster speed than everyone else on the field while continuing to demonstrate remarkable placement on throws that seemed beyond him as recently as 2019.

    Part of the credit for his success, though, must be attributed to a receiving corps firmly living up to its reputation.

    Business booming for AB and Co.

    Evans, Brown and Chris Godwin can each be considered elite options at the wideout position, and their status in that regard was further solidified in a game where the Bucs shredded the opposing defense despite Brady being without a tight end in Rob Gronkowski who is averaging a big play on 57.0 per cent of his targets.

    Brown finished with seven receptions for 124 yards and his two scores, becoming the fastest player to reach 900 catches as he took his tally to 906 in 143 career games, breaking the record set by Marvin Harrison (149 games).

    He also became the fifth player in league history to reach 12,000 receiving yards in fewer than 150 games and, while Brown may never reach the levels he demonstrated during his time in Pittsburgh, he is undoubtedly worthy of Brady's increasing faith in him.

    Producing a burn – when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted – 69.0 per cent of the time, Brown is tied-third among receivers with at least 20 targets with his 5.3 burn yards per route.

    Evans, meanwhile, is seventh on the list of receivers who meet that same threshold with a big play on 41.7 per cent of his targets, and Godwin – the quietest of the trio versus Miami with seven catches for 70 yards – is fifth in burn percentage for receivers with a 20-target minimum, winning his matchup on 74.4 per cent of targets.

    Godwin's average depth of target of 8.3 yards speaks to a receiver who is working more as an underneath option while Evans (14.2) and Brown (13.9) are being relied on to produce the more explosive plays downfield.

    Yet when performing at the standard they showcased on Sunday, the nature of their deployment is almost immaterial. With three receivers who could be number one targets on most teams in the NFL and a quarterback whose arm and ability to process are seemingly unaffected by the passage of time, a Bucs offense that is clicking is a near-impossible one to stop.

    Any notion of a short stay in Tampa being akin to a Florida retirement home for Brady has long since been dispelled. With an embarrassment of riches at receiver, he is continually polishing a legacy that glistens more than any other in league history. With more offensive performances like his 400-yard blitz of the Dolphins, he may end the year buffing up an eighth Lombardi Trophy.

  • Ronaldo sexual assault case recommended for dismissal by Nevada judge Ronaldo sexual assault case recommended for dismissal by Nevada judge

    A Nevada court has recommended a civil case alleging Cristiano Ronaldo committed a sexual assault should be dismissed.

    It means the Portugal star is likely to receive confirmation in the near future that the case has been thrown out.

    Ronaldo was accused by Kathryn Mayorga of assaulting her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, but the footballer has strenuously denied the allegation.

    Now at Manchester United, whom he joined from Italian club Juventus in August, Ronaldo initially described the claims, first reported in 2018 by German publication Der Spiegel, as "fake news" via an Instagram video.

    No criminal charges were brought, with the Clark County District Attorney's Office announcing in July 2019 that the allegations could not "be proven beyond a reasonable doubt".

    Ronaldo's lawyers pushed for the civil case to be dropped, and a United States District Court judge for the state of Nevada has agreed that documents, which emerged via alleged illegal hacks by Football Leaks, should be inadmissible and the action dismissed.

    The court criticised Mayorga's legal representatives, Stovall and Associates, for the handling of the case.

    "Dismissing Mayorga's case for the inappropriate conduct of her attorney is a harsh result," the court report said. "But it is, unfortunately, the only appropriate sanction to ensure the integrity of the judicial process."

    In a document released by the court on Thursday, it was stated that the documents were "inherently prejudicial to Ronaldo fairly presenting his defence".

    The report, signed by United States magistrate judge Daniel J Albregts, concluded: "It is recommended that Ronaldo's motion for case terminating sanctions be granted. It is further recommended that Mayorga's action be dismissed with prejudice."

    The court's decision can be challenged with a written objection within 14 days, it stated.

    Ronaldo said on Twitter in 2018: "I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in."

    According to Der Spiegel, Mayorga first made a complaint of sexual assault in 2009 and subsequently reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo. It is claimed by the magazine she was paid $375,000 as part of a privacy agreement, preventing her from going public with the allegations.

  • 'Your legacy is in bits' – Fury vows to send 'weak' Wilder into retirement 'Your legacy is in bits' – Fury vows to send 'weak' Wilder into retirement

    Tyson Fury insisted Deontay Wilder's "legacy is in bits" as he vowed to knock out his American opponent in Saturday's trilogy fight.

    Wilder suffered a technical knockout defeat to Fury almost 20 months ago at MGM Grand after their drama-filled first fight in December 2018 ended with a split-decision draw.

    The pair face off again at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this weekend as unbeaten Fury makes the first defence of his WBC world heavyweight title.

    And Fury continued to goad his rival, who made a string of excuses for the defeat last time out – the first of his professional career – at Wednesday's final news conference.

    "You're in denial and you're going to get knocked out and retire," Fury said.

    "Your legacy is in bits. All the excuses, you've been destroyed. No one has believed you. They're all laughing at you like a weak piece of s***.

    "You're a weak man, you're getting knocked out."

    Wilder has remained largely quiet in the build-up to the high-profile bout but he eventually rose to the taunts, insisting Fury is not capable of knocking him out on Saturday.

    "You don't know nothing about knocking anyone out. You don't have knockout power. You're not a knockout artist."

    Responding to Wilder's "legacy" claims, Wilder said: "When you know the truth, they say the truth will set you free. 

    "I have no pressure, there is nothing to lose, everything to gain.

    "All the pressure is on him. Your legacy only dies when the man dies, when the desire and fire in your heart dies, when that dies so does your legacy, and I am well alive.

    "We have got a lot of things in line, in order, this is what the world needs to know, there is a lot of things I could put out there, but silence is golden."

    Both men were set for a traditional stare down after exchanging words, but promoter Bob Arum called it off and the boxers left the stage in opposite directions.

    "At the end, we were going to do a face-off and Wilder ran away! Welcome to my world, b****," Fury later told iFL TV.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.