Peaty ends GB’s 40-year wait for world champion

Frank Dalleres
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Peaty, 20, is the first Briton to become 100m breaststroke world champion since 1975
BRITAIN’S Adam Peaty set his sights on further success in Rio de Janeiro next year after becoming the country’s first 100m breaststroke world champion for 40 years yesterday in Russia.

The Staffordshire 20-year-old pipped Olympic gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh by seven hundredths of a second, having trailed the South African for the whole race in Kazan. Fellow Briton Ross Murdoch took bronze in a Scottish record time.

Peaty’s time of 58.52 seconds was more than half a second slower than the world record he set in April at the British Swimming Championships. Now holder of the World, European and Commonwealth titles, he hopes to complete the set – and post a faster time – at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

“I’m a little dissatisfied with the time but in the World Championship final all that matters is the win, and I’m very glad I came out on top,” Peaty said.

“Cameron put up a really tough fight and that’s something I’m going to be looking at next year. It’s my first World Championships so I’m not quite used to it all yet. If you slip for one moment, in one race, you’re off. I’m still getting used to that but hopefully by next year in Rio, I’ll be up and running.”

He is the first British world champion in the 100m breaststroke since David Wilkie, who also won over 200m, in 1975. Peaty, who is also the world record holder over 50m, could add further medals in that distance and the 200m in Russia later this week.

Britain enjoyed further medal success when 19-year-old Siobhan-Maria O’Connor took 200m individual medley bronze. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won the race in a world record time of two minutes, 6.12 seconds, while Japan’s Kanako Watanabe was second.