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It means the world to me... history-maker Adam Peaty wins second Olympic title

History-making Adam Peaty stormed to victory in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke to become the first British swimmer to retain his title – and admitted: “It means the world to me.”

The 26-year-old thanked the nation for being behind him for the the last five years and dedicated the victory to his family, friends and British Swimming team-mates.

Peaty, who is unbeaten in seven years in the 100m Breaststroke, clocked his fifth fastest time ever as he finished in 57.37 – 0.63 seconds clear of Netherlands’ Arno Kamminga (58.00), who took the silver.

It was slower than his Olympic record he set at the 2016 Rio Games but Peaty said the victory was more important than the time.

He said: “I have not felt this good since 2016.

“It just means the world to me. 

“I thought I had the best preparation of my life but then they threw in morning finals and you throw all that out the window. That’s what it takes to be an athlete. 

“It’s not who is the best all year round, it’s the best on the day and who is the most adaptable and who wants it more.

“I did feel a little pressure but it was a good pressure – I needed to put myself on edge.

“When it comes to this, I’m not racing for a time. I’m racing myself and these great athletes here. Bill and Mel said it wasn’t about the time, it was about the race.

“This has closed the chapter for me – it was unfinished business. I want to thank the nation for being behind me the last five years.

“Thanks to my family, my gorgeous partner, my gorgeous son. 

“My family back home have been with it every step of the way. This victory wasn’t mine – it was the British Swimming team, my family, my friends and those people that I had to put to the sidelines for a moment.

“I knew it was going to take absolutely every single bit of energy to get to this point and I’m glad – I’m very relieved.”

I did it for them

After receiving his gold medal, Peaty said the main emotion he felt was pride – and enormous relief.

“I cannot think of the amount of emotion it’s taken to get here,” he said. “Back there, I hugged Mel (Marshall) and started crying.

“A lot of countries did not have the strict lockdown we did. They were still doing training camps, we had no training camps, little international competition

“I saw a few GB flags and that’s all I needed. I did it for them.

“I’m so relieved [the Games happened]. Especially with George now – being a father I have done it for him. 

“All that time I had to go training and leave him, and leave her in very difficult situations, it’s all been worth it – I love them so much.”

James Wilby, swimming in lane seven, was fifth in a time of 58.96 but said morning finals were not to blame.

He said: “I’m a little bit disappointed – my best time would have been right in the mix there.

“It’s a challenge that’s for sure but everyone is in the same situation and all that matters is that we do what we do best and try and get there on the podium.”

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