8 Aug 2016
Peaty wins Loughborough’s first gold of The Games
Adam Peaty took 100m breaststroke gold on day two in the pool, to win both Team GB and Loughborough’s first gold of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Peaty produced a perfect swim, taking nearly half a second off the world record he set in the heats, to win by over one and a half seconds in 57.13.
Going into the final it was all eyes on Peaty, current world champion and the man with the fastest three swims of all time, but that didn’t faze him. Peaty got the fastest reaction off the block and led all the way, extending his lead with each and every stroke.
Post-race the Loughborough based swimmer, who’s coached by alumna Mel Marshall, said:
“I can’t even put into words what that swim means to me. I was aware I was in front but not by that much. I touched the wall and looked to my left and thought ‘where is everybody?’!
“I thought the best possible race I could do would be get to 57.3 so to get 57.1 is something else. It’s absolutely incredible. The idea of making the team but not pushing the team forward was not really an option for me. Me and my coach Mel Marshall push forward every day.
“I’m not going to settle for just this. I’m going to push forward – I’m sure every gold medallist says this but me and Mel operate differently and we are always pursuing excellence and self-improvement. If we’re not doing that I don’t really see the point. It’ll be good to get back to Loughborough to get back to it and look for areas to improve.
“But for now I’m going to enjoy it and get the relay done and deliver another good performance for Team GB.”
There was disappointment for Georgia Davies, who after a good swim in her heat of the women’s backstroke just missed out on a final place. Making her Olympic debut, alumna Lara Butler was also in the backstroke for her native Cayman Islands, finishing fifth in her heat.
Also in the pool, Molly Renshaw produced a strong swim in the 100m breaststroke, just missing out on a semi-final place, but she was pleased with her speed ahead of her favoured 200m event later this week.
It was another historic day for the women’s rugby sevens team as they continued their unbeaten record to make the semi-finals. The team, containing alumna Claire Allan, swept aside Canada 22-0 to top their group, before beating Fiji 26-7 in the quarter-final. That leaves the team one win away from winning a medal on Rugby Sevens’ Olympic debut.
The British men’s hockey team were back in action, hoping to bounce back from an opening day defeat against Belgium, with current student Ian Sloan one of five Loughborough men in action. David Condon got Team GB off to the perfect start, but in the second quarter New Zealand bounced back to take the lead. Captain Barry Middleton pegged them back with a flick just before the halfway mark, and that’s how it remained.
Of the 2-2 draw opening goal scorer and local boy Condon commented:
“I think we had the intensity we wanted to have after the first game – I think we let ourselves down on that side [against Belgium]. I think we brought that intensity, passion and willingness to do the hard work.
“We just lacked the little bit of quality that makes the difference in these big games. In our final third we just lacked that little link that meant we could create some flowing moves.
“For the next match we need to focus on that last bit of detail. It’s all very well doing the hard work, but if the quality isn’t there then the hard work means nothing. We want to focus on making the passes in the right place so the next person can make the right play.”
The Irish men’s hockey team, containing grads Paul Gleghorne and John Jackson, didn’t get the result they deserved as they were beaten 5-0 at the hands of world number two The Netherlands.
Due to adverse weather conditions, day two of the rowing was postponed, meaning Jonny Walton will hopefully compete in the double sculls repechage on Monday.