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Olympic champion Adam Peaty insists he's more motivated than ever before

Olympic champion Adam Peaty claims he’s stronger and more motivated than ever as he sets his sights on this year’s FINA World Championships in South Korea and Tokyo 2020.

And the fastest breaststroker in history feels ready to push the boundaries even further.

Speaking at the National Arena League Cup Final in Cardiff, Peaty said: “I am more motivated than ever.

“I think it’s because I took the winter off in a mental aspect.

“I was training really hard but I didn’t have to race so there was no pressure on me having to think about racing. No pressure around anything.

“I was just doing my own thing – doing a bit more commercial stuff and enjoying just chilling and relaxing completely.

“In the last 10 years I have never had that moment of just relaxing completely and I think it has paid its dividends.

“It’s done me tenfold in a better direction.”

Peaty – already the only man to swim the long-course 100m breaststroke in under 58 seconds – is now targeting 56 or perhaps even 55.

He almost achieved 56 at the European Championships in Glasgow last year, when the scoreboard showed a time of 57.00 before LEN later corrected this to 57.10.

This was still a world record by 0.03sec and has encouraged Peaty to believe he can break the 57-second barrier.

Going into the unknown

Adam Peaty says he wants to push the boundaries even further

“That 57.1 in Glasgow was off a really tough April,” he said.

“From January to April I was pretty much out of my breaststroke pull because I had a little niggle in my shoulder tendon.

“Mentally in April I wasn’t in a good place. So building off four months work, I still got a world record.

“This season I’m training smarter than I ever have and training heavier than I ever have in terms of muscle. With those formulas, it’s looking very good at the moment.”

Peaty is currently the heaviest in his career during a training phase.

“Before Rio I was 95-96 kilograms in training,” he said.

“I’m around that now and I’ve not been able to get to that point for a long time.

“It’s looking very good. If I can build the speed and power with that weight and strip it off – and I normally lose about 3 kilos going into a race – we’re looking at a very good formula.”

Peaty, who is consistently more than a second ahead of his nearest challengers over 100m, admitted he is now more focused on the clock than other swimmers.

“I don’t see myself racing the rest of the world at this moment,” he said.

“I still respect everyone I race but I see myself as going into the unknown.

British breaststroke extremely strong

Adam Peaty greets Hatfield representatives before the grand parade ahead of the 50th National Arena League Cup Final in Cardiff

“No-one has been thinking of going 56 or 55. I want to put myself in that position where I’m obviously dominant but also respectful for people around me.

“I also want to give back to the sport. There’s no point in doing all this if you can’t come and inspire the kids. I’ve always had a firm belief about giving back to the sport that has given me so much.”

Peaty currently heads a world ranking list that also features Britain’s James Wilby at number two and Ross Murdoch in equal fifth.

“British breaststroke is extremely strong,” he said.

“If we had a breaststroke relay we’d absolutely kill everyone. We’re probably going to have four or five people under a minute.

“Other countries can’t get close to having one person at that level. We’re such a small country.

“That’s where the investment has paid off for British Swimming. We are inspiring more people to do breaststroke.”

Peaty added that he is looking forward to competing in the new International Swimming League (ISL) later this year – and he compared it to National Arena League.

“This kind of competition format is amazing,” he said.

“What we are trying to push now in the sport as a collective is to have more exciting events, more back to back racing.

“Why are we waiting five or ten minutes between each race? We want to keep it exciting and flowing.

“What I have always loved about the Arena League is that the momentum doesn’t stop. If you can push that more in the future, it’s great.”