“the technique is not yet there”, according to Adam Peaty a few months before the Olympics

By Le Figaro with AFP

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Adam Peaty won a bronze medal at these world championships.

Six months before the Paris Olympic Games, Briton Adam Peaty marked his return to the international scene with a “bittersweet” bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke on Monday at the World Swimming Championships in Doha.

Silver medalist last year, the American Nic Fink became world champion of the distance in 58 sec 57, ahead of the Italian Nicolo Martinenghi, world champion in 2022 (58 sec 84). But on this second day of competition, it is above all Peaty who was the center of attention for his return, four years after his last appearance at the World Championships.

Best time in the semi-finals, Peaty lacked speed at the start and failed to show his qualities in the second part of the race, finishing third in 59 sec 10. “It’s bittersweet, the technique isn’t there yet to get the results I want when I’m under pressure. This is something that will have to be identified. We still need a lot more training and perseverance”analyzed Peaty.

“I know I could have done more”

Between his last Worlds in 2019 and his third place in Doha, Peaty won a second Olympic title over the distance, in 2021 in Tokyo. But he then fractured his foot before taking a break to treat significant psychological problems, citing problems with depression and alcoholism. From now on “soothed”however, he said to himself “disappointed” of his evening performance. “My happiness in this sport comes from knowing that I could not have done more, and tonight, I know that I could have done more, which annoyed me quite a bit.”

“It’s nice to have a medal (…) but tonight it didn’t go exactly the way I wanted.”he continued. “But I have to remember that it’s been a long time since I’ve experienced this, and the next five months (until the Paris Olympics, Editor’s note) will define who I am as an athlete.” In his absence, the Chinese Qin Haiyang emerged on the global scene by achieving the breaststroke hat-trick (50, 100, 200 m) last year at the Fukuoka World Championships in Japan. But the 24-year-old swimmer did not make the trip to Qatar.

Dougl without trembling, Kohler creates a surprise

In the other races, the American Kate Dougl retained her 200m medley title. Starting off on a very fast basis, Dougl concluded his final less than a second from the world record, touching the wall in 2 min 07 sec 05, or 12 hundredths less than his time last year. She beat the Canadian Sydney Pickrem and the Chinese Yu Yiting, already in bronze last year at the Fukuoka Worlds. The only Frenchwoman in the running on this second evening of finals, Charlotte Bonnet took seventh place with a time of 2 min 11 sec 23.

In the 100m butterfly, the German Angelina Kohler took advantage of the absence of the three medalists from Fukuoka to win in 56 sec 28, ahead of the American Claire Curzan and the Swede Louise Hansson. Extremely moved, she burst into tears at the end of the race, before sobbing intensely during the interview at the edge of the pool and then again on the podium.

She becomes the first German swimmer to win a world gold medal since Britta Steffan fifteen years ago. “It will take me a while to realize what I have achieved in German swimming. It was so huge that my head couldn’t digest the information, I was speechless.”, declared the 23-year-old swimmer. Finally, the Portuguese Diogo Matos Ribeiro became world champion in the 50m butterfly at the age of 19. Silver medalist last year, he climbed one step further in the absence of the defending champion, the Italian Thomas Ceccon. He obtained the first world swimming title in the history of Portugal.

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