Adam Peaty gets full redemption with 50m Gold at Commonwealth Games Day 5
At The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Adam Peaty returned to the Gold Medal podium in the 50m breaststroke
Much to the delight of the British crowd, England's Adam Peaty avenged his first 100 breast loss in 10 years with a golden swim in the 50 breaststroke, a 26.76 over silver medalist Sam Williamson (26.97) of Australia. Peaty had sustained a foot injury earlier this year that kept him out of the World Championships and had not been at his best at this week's Games, finishing a surprising fourth in the 100 breast final.
"After the 100m, I was the lowest of the low," Peaty said. "I had something that was almost guaranteed taken away from me and I took it for granted I think. I was saying to Ross (MURDOCH) in the swim-down I didn't want to do the 50m and he said, 'no, you'll regret it and you'll regret it the day after, a year after and for life'. And I'm glad he was there to encourage me. Yesterday was all about going through the rounds and today was the emotion: that was the rawness and that's what you saw."
But he eased that pain in the 50m final, as the home crowd gave him a standing ovation as he got out of the pool, even his long-time mate, James Guy, was out on the deck applauding Peaty right before the 100 butterfly medal ceremony.
"I reverted to who I am," Peaty said of how he came back to win. "Mel [MARSHALL (ENG), coach] said this morning, 'today you wake up, will you play?'. I replied straightaway, 'no, I fight', because sometimes playing's not enough and I gave literally absolutely everything in that race. I don't care about the time, I don't care about the result, I just care about enjoying the crowd, being there and winning."
"I've grown up watching (Peaty) swim, so just having the opportunity to race against him is something I am never going to forget," Williamson said. "Ten weeks ago, he broke his foot, so the courage he took to step up and compete this week is incredible. I don't think anyone else would have had the strength and been able to pull themselves together in that period. To then come out with a medal he has, is due a lot of credit. He is without a doubt the best breaststroker the world has ever seen, so just to be able to stand next to him is pretty bloody cool. I'm really happy with how this week has gone. It has put me in a good spot looking forward. The next two years will be nose to the grindstone, to step-up in Paris [2024 Olympic Games]."
Surprisingly, it is also Peaty's first gold medal in the 50 at the Commonwealth Games after two straight silvers in 2014 and 2018 to South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh. Despite the injury, the time for Peaty was also a season best.
The bronze went to Scotland's Ross Murdoch from lane 8 at 27.32, adding to his bronze from the 200, as he has indicated this is his last meet.
"I got a really good message earlier from my old coach and he said that's where you started your career son, in lane eight where nobody believed in you and that's where you'll finish' and that really got me going today," Murdoch said. "I sat by myself for about an hour playing my guitar and just tears in my eyes. I was like this is it, you can do it man, believe in yourself, stand up and do it.' I'm absolutely buzzing that I've done it. It's the only one I've never had. I've had a 100m medal, 200m medal but all I ever wanted to be was a 50m breaststroker and it's a poetic end."