Steve Parry: Dominant Adam Peaty is a legend of British sport

Olympian and BBC 5 Live commentator Steve Parry gives his reaction to Adam Peaty’s second Olympic title.

Steve Parry hailed dominant Adam Peaty as a ‘legend of British sport’ after watching him rewrite the history books at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Peaty became the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title as he cruised to the 100m Breaststroke gold medal at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in a time of 57.37.

It means Peaty is unbeaten in that race for the last seven years, during which time he has won two Olympic titles, two Commonwealth Games golds, four European Championships and three World Championships – and set numerous world records.

Parry said Peaty had taken the sport to heights that he never thought were possible.

“I just think Adam is a marvel,” said Parry. 

“For a lad to win the Commonwealth Games on his first major international in 2014, It’s hard to understand how formidable and dominant he has been – and so consistent over that seven-year period.

“It’s brilliant for him, his family, for British Swimming and amazing for the country. What a way to kickstart the gold medal tally for Team GB.

“Adam has done something tonight that no British swimmer has managed to do in 120 years and that’s win back to back gold medals in an event.

“He is a legend of British sport. I’m not sure he is recognised as such yet but I hope he gets those plaudits when he returns from Tokyo.

“It’s been particularly tough this cycle with Covid, having pools lifted into his back garden to compete. And he’s a young dad and all fathers will know the trials and tribulations that comes with.

“I think one of the biggest things he has had to deal with is the pressure – the pressure he has been under for someone that has been dominant so long creates a focus where if you don’t do it the fear of failure could be massive.

“But he’s dealt with that miraculously.

“All that when the second, third, fourth and fifth fastest swimmers of all time were in the race. It’s not like the competition isn’t there – this is the greatest field of backstrokers ever compiled.

“I hope he enjoys the moment of being a double Olympic champion.

“He was the first guy under 58 barrier, the first under 57 barrier and he has broken numerous world records.

“He has taken it to heights that I never thought it would get to – it’s just miraculous really.

Mouthwatering prospect

“I’m finding it hard to get my head around it and I have spent 30 years around swimming.”

Meanwhile, Parry is looking forward to the Men’s 200m Freestyle final after Tom Dean and Duncan Scott both booked their spots, finishing first and fourth fastest in the semi-final.

“What a mouthwatering prospect that is,” said Parry. “I always knew Ducan had a chance but he looked a cut above today.

“He was half a second ahead of everyone else, although he was blowing. He had clearly exerted himself but you can’t not do that at this level – he looked in control.

“I think it’s great to have two bites of the cherry and a quarter of the lanes covered in the final.

“Tom has done the second fastest time in the world this year and we have the number one qualifier as well. It’s going to be fantastic.”

Parry also tipped Kathleen Dawson to pinch a medal after she qualified for the Women’s 100m Backstroke final.

“Kathleen is going up against the three fastest backstrokers of all time who have all broke world records in the last few years which is unfortunate,” said Parry.

“But she looks on great song and could be an outside chance for a medal as well.”