BIRMINGHAM: Adam Peaty bounced back from a “devastating” defeat to top the qualifying times in the men’s 50m breaststroke on Monday as teen star Summer McIntosh lined up a Commonwealth Games medley double. England’s world record holder Peaty, who has dominated the 100m breaststroke in recent years, finished a shock fourth in the event on Sunday. He returned to the pool for the 50m heats on Monday admitting he had had just two hours’ sleep, but topped the times alongside South Africa’s Michael Houlie, with a swim of 27.10sec.
Peaty, who has three Olympic golds, said he did not “bother” warming up before Monday’s heat at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre. “I just came in. I had two hours’ sleep. Obviously it was a devastating night for me,” he said. “Came in, do what I do, treat it like a counties championship and just go for it, I guess.” The 27-year-old, who missed the world championships in June after breaking his foot, said the past two years had been a challenge.
“The last two years have been very complicated-just because of various things like going into Olympics, having all that pressure paying off. “I haven’t really had a winter block where I’ve reset, got my aerobic training in and gone, ‘hold on a minute’. “I haven’t even had a chance to know where I am going. It’s almost like you get in a car without a destination.” Canada’s McIntosh was quickest in qualifying for Monday evening’s women’s 200m individual medley final, touching in a time of 2min 12.12sec.
The 15-year-old is targeting a second gold in Birmingham after winning the 400m individual medley. The rising star won two gold medals at the world championships in Budapest in June, in the 400m medley and the 200m butterfly. Another teenager, Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan, was quickest in the women’s 100m freestyle heats in a time of 54.28. Australian Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown topped the charts in the women’s 200m backstroke, in a time of 2:10.95.
Canada’s Joshua Liendo (51.36) was fastest in qualifying for the men’s 100m butterfly final. Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, the Olympic champion in the women’s 200m and 400m freestyle, was second in the heats for the 800m freestyle behind compatriot Lani Pallister. In Monday’s evening session there will be finals in the men’s 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 4x200m freestyle relay and in the women’s 200m individual medley, 200m backstroke and the 50m butterfly.
Meanwhile, swimming superstars Emma McKeon and Chad le Clos made Commonwealth Games history on Sunday as Adam Peaty suffered a shock defeat while the track cycling was overshadowed by a horror smash. McKeon now has 11 gold medals at the Games over her career – more than any other Australian after her victory in the women’s 50m freestyle. Silver for defending champion Le Clos in the men’s 200m butterfly gives him an 18th Commonwealth medal, putting him level with shooters Michael Gault and Phil Adams.
McKeon’s crowning Commonwealth moment was extra special as her family were there to witness it – they were absent at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, where she won seven medals, including four gold. The 28-year-old has now moved ahead of now retired compatriots Ian Thorpe, Susie O’Neill and Leisel Jones on the all-time list. “They’re the ones that inspired me when I was young,” she said. “I remember watching them on TV and that lit the fire in me to be where I am now. I’ve got them to thank.” Le Clos finished second behind Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand in his evening race.
Sunday’s final was 10 years to the day since he beat American great Michael Phelps at London 2012 in the same event to become Olympic champion. The South African said he would have gone to extreme lengths to have won in Birmingham. “I would’ve cut my finger off to win tonight,” he said. “It meant everything to me and my family – everyone’s in the stands, my friends flew out for this race. “I will be on the top of the podium in 2022, so whether it’s this week or world short-course (championships), that is a promise.”
England’s Olympic omnium champion Matt Walls was catapulted over the barriers and into the crowd in the men’s 15km scratch qualifiers. Walls and two other riders – Isle of Man’s Matt Bostock and Derek Gee of Canada – were taken to hospital but Walls was discharged later on Sunday. “I’ve somehow come away with no serious injures just a few stitches and pretty banged up,” he tweeted. “I really hope everyone else involved is OK including the spectators that may have been injured.” – AFP