Adam Peaty qualifies fastest for 100m breaststroke final at World Championships

By Sports Desk February 11, 2024

Three-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty qualified fastest for the 100 metres breaststroke final at the World Championships in Doha.

Peaty, who was absent from the championships in 2022 with a foot injury and also missed out last year after stepping away from the sport to prioritise his mental health, clocked a time of 58.60 seconds to reach Monday’s final.

“I feel good,” the 29-year-old said.

“My objective for this meet was to progress through the rounds, progress physically and in results, but also progress mentally and see what strategies are working, what isn’t working.

“It’s more of a test event for us, but obviously we’re going to put our best foot forward and put a good fight on.

“After the heats I was like, ‘OK, I know what I’m working with and I know what I’m capable of’.

“But tonight was just about going out there, showing a little bit of Adam Peaty, getting a little bit angry with myself like I normally do. Tonight I showed that I can still get it down that back end when I really need to.”

Great Britain’s men finished fourth in the final of the 4x100m freestyle relay behind China, Italy and the United States, but the quartet of Jacob Whittle, Tom Dean, Duncan Scott and Matt Richards qualified for an Olympic quota spot with their performance in the heats.

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    The 37th Carifta Swimming Championships has come and gone, but the experience of representing one's country on one of the biggest stages in the region has left an indelible mark on the younger participants, in particular, to the point where they continue to revel in their accomplishments.

    Jamaica's Kia Alert and Noland Barrett are two such swimmers, who though not new to national representation, basked in the fact that they rose to the occasion and displayed their immense potential with standout performances that assisted the country to its 45-medal tally, including 18 gold, 12 silver and 15 bronze.

    The 27-member Jamaican team also placed fourth on the points standing with combined total of 559 points, behind host The Bahamas (1,096.50 points), who secured an unprecedented sixth-straight Carifta Swimming Championship victory. Cayman Islands (660 points), Trinidad and Tobago (639 points), and Barbados (486.50 points) were the other top five teams.

    Alert, who competed in the girls’ 11-12 division, relished her second outing at the championship, as she earned most points for Jamaica. She copped gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, the 50m and 100m freestyle, as well as in the 50m butterfly, and those were complemented by silver in the 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley (IM).

    “I really felt like I was prepared enough to do really well, and I was excited just to put the hours of hard work on display, so I was really happy and proud hearing the National anthem after I won, knowing that all the hard work paid off,” Alert said.

    “I also felt good about my other performances because I know I tried my hardest even on the third day when I had the 200m IM, 100m breast and 50m free, I tried my hardest and succeeded so I am really grateful that I came out healthy,” she added.

    While delighted with her personal haul, Alert praised her teammates, Christanya Shirley and others, who in a consistent show of spirit and talent, also contributed significantly to Jamaica’s medal haul. That togetherness and pride she said is what swimmers count on to keep going, especially when things don’t go as expected in the pool.

    “Team Jamaica’s performances deserve tremendous commendation. After a slow start, each member of the team gave their best and everyone contributed to our total points tally. For each day of the competitions there were several personal best performances seen, so even if swimmers did not medal, they did well enough to achieve PBs and that’s enough to be proud of,” Alert reasoned.

    Meanwhile, the overseas-based Barrett, who had a credible outing at CCCAN last year, was making his debut at the Carifta Swimming Championships and contested finals in most of his events in the boys’ 13-14 category. He won gold in the 100m, 200m and the 400m freestyle events.

    “Going into the Carifta Games I was excited to not only see my teammates I haven't seen in a while, but more importantly, to perform very well. I had a lot of fun being there and also dropping a lot of times and securing personal best, and while hearing the national anthem, I was proud that I was representing my country,” Barrett shared.

    “So, I was really satisfied with my performances, I am more excited about the 400m free where I ended up dropping 11 seconds and I was really proud of how much I was able to accomplish on my first year and knowing that I have next year to do even better,” he noted.

    Barrett contested the 13-14 age group alongside, Matthew Kennedy, Kai Radcliffe and others, who also produced credible performances.

    Kennedy mined bronze in the 100m and 200m freestyle to go with his other top eight finishes, while Radcliffe, known for his breaststroke prowess, secured gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, and silver in the 200m breaststroke.

    Radcliffe also flirted with the 50m breaststroke national age group record of 30.94s held by Kito Campbell, with his 30.98s-clocking.

    Like Alert, Barrett, 14, pointed out that the team spirit was based on pride, passion and performance.

    “I am proud of the team's performance, and I believe every athlete should be celebrated for their effort. All the coaches who prepared the swimmers for qualification and the championship should be proud of how they performed. We all stood strong, performed strong and gave out best to achieve what we did for Jamaica,” Barrett ended.

  • Swim coach Farmer eyes improvements for Barbados to make bigger splash at regional meet Swim coach Farmer eyes improvements for Barbados to make bigger splash at regional meet

    While celebrating their fairly successful outing at the recently concluded Carifta Swimming Championships, Barbados Head coach Dave Farmer believes there is still much more to be done to improve their aquatic prowess.

    Farmer, who admitted that the 23-member team which travelled to the Bahamas was undersized, lauded their efforts, as they bagged 37 medals, inclusive of 15 gold, 15 silver and seven bronze. Though their tally was two medals better than it was last year, they finished one spot lower in fifth position behind powerhouses The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

    “I thought we did a very good job. The team really performed well. We exceeded our medal count from previous years, we had 37 medals in total which is a good achievement for us, so the team performed very well, and everyone gave of their best,” Farmer told journalists moments after the team arrived home on Thursday.

    “They did quite well last year, they just had two more medals this year, but the team has been working hard. Some of our swimmers have been training for this event since September, October last year. Obviously, they had competitions in between but their main goal was to perform well at Carifta.

    “This means we could have a bright future but obviously it means a lot of our age group swimmers need to step up to the plate because there is a lot of work that needs to be done. We had a 23-member squad, but a full team is in excess of 36, so we are still lacking in some categories, and we need to get those gaps filled,” he added.

    Barbados was led by the impressive Heidi Stoute, who broke four CARIFTA records in the girls’ 13-14 division on her way to amassing six individual gold medals, along with three relay golds and one silver. Her performance earned her the Federation international de natation (FINA) High Point Award.

    Stoute said she was pleased with her accomplishments at the Championships.

    “I’m very happy with my performance to bring home these medals for Barbados, not just for myself. I would like to thank everybody who is involved in getting us there…I really do appreciate it and I’m sure the whole team does. We did very well and I’m very happy with what we brought home. The competition was good, it definitely pushed me, but it was fun, and I definitely enjoyed it," Stoute shared.

    The outstanding swimmer's next assignment will be the CCCAN, scheduled for June in Mexico.

     

  • Oliver Morgan sets new British backstroke record to seal Olympics spot Oliver Morgan sets new British backstroke record to seal Olympics spot

    Oliver Morgan set a new British men’s 100 metre backstroke record to qualify for the Paris Olympics as he retained his title on the second day of the British Championships in London.

    The 20-year-old University of Birmingham swimmer, also defending his British 50m and 200m backstroke titles at the London Aquatics Centre, clocked 52.70 seconds to break the previous record set by Liam Tancock 15 years ago.

    Morgan finished well inside the Olympic qualifying time to take gold ahead of second-placed Jonathon Marshall and Luke Greenbank.

    “If you asked me two years ago if I would be in this position I’d have said there’s no way,” Morgan, who did not start competing at national level until he was 16, said of his rapid rise afterwards.

    “I can’t put it into words. It proves you don’t have to be there as a youngster. I did what I enjoyed when I was young. I played football and mountain biked.”

    Amelie Blocksidge retained her women’s 1500m freestyle title at the age of 14.

    Blocksidge, 15 next week, finished three seconds outside her personal best in 16.13:39 and well adrift of the Olympic qualification time, ahead of Loughborough University pair Fleur Lewis and Lucie Hanquet.

    Scotland’s Kara Hanlon swam a new lifetime’s best of 2:24.59 after a strong finish to win the women’s 200m breaststroke crown ahead of Somerset’s Lily Booker.

    Hanlon’s fellow Scot Kathleen Dawson put her injury woes behind her by winning the 100m backstroke title in an Olympic qualifying time to seal her place for Paris.

    Joshua Gammon won gold in the men’s 200m butterfly in a new personal best of 1.56:95, just outside the Olympic qualifying time, with University of Aberdeen’s Thomas Beeley taking silver.

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