Rio de Janeiro: Adam Peaty launched his quest to end 28 years of Olympic hurt for Britain's male swimmers by romping to a world record time in the 100 metres breaststroke on Saturday.
Peaty clocked an eye-popping 57.55 seconds on the opening day of the Rio Olympic competition, lowering the world mark of 57.92 that he set in London in April last year when he became the first man to break through the 58-second barrier.
"Fifty-seven-five, not too shabby," Peaty said.
"I wasn't even pumped up," Peaty added of waiting in the ready room for the first Olympic race of his career.
"As soon as we walked in it's fight or flight and I chose to get something out of it."
No British man has won an Olympic swimming title since Adrian Moorhouse in the 100 metres breaststroke in 1988 -- before Peaty was even born.
"You can either be shy of the arena or you can take advantage of it," said Peaty.
"I don't how much faster I can go but hopefully it will be a good race tonight," he added, looking forward to Saturday's semi-finals with the final scheduled for Sunday.
"We're not going to get too complacent. We're going to keep striving, keep pushing the boundaries."
Peaty said he knew his first 50m was fast and his turn sharp, but it was not until he heard the crowd roaring with 25 meters remaining that he realised something special was happening.
"There's no Brazilians in this race, they've got to be shouting for something," he said.
Japan's Yasuhiro Koseki was second-fastest behind Peaty in 58.91 and Brazil's Felipe Franca third in 59.01.
Australian Jake Packard, second to Peaty in their heat in 59.26, was sixth fastest overall.
Defending champion Cameron van der Burgh, who qualified seventh-quickest for the semis, insisted the gold medal was still up for grabs, despite Peaty's remarkable swim.
"It's a great swim from him, obviously, a new world record -- anytime you do you do that is really special," said the South African.
"But here's no use in me expending any extra energy when I don't need too. That's my game plan and I'm sticking to that."
He added: "Tomorrow's the big one. That's all we care about."
Van der Burgh also looked to gain a psychological edge before Sunday's gold medal race.
"Obviously the Olympic final is a different animal, something really spectacular and different to any other race," he said.
"The final is a different ballgame -- you see guys smashing times in the semis and crumbling in finals."
Published Date: Aug 07, 2016 02:52 am | Updated Date: Aug 07, 2016 02:58 am