Superb Peaty wins Loughborough’s first medal of Tokyo Olympics

Adam Peaty made history in the early hours as he powered to 100m breaststroke gold in Tokyo.

The 26-year-old became the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title as he blew away the field at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre to take victory in 57.37 seconds.

Peaty’s time was the fifth-fastest recorded in Olympic history, with the current world record holder visibly emotional at taking the title.

The swim was perfectly executed throughout and under the guidance of coach and Loughborough alumna Mel Marshall, Peaty beat Arno Kamminga (Netherlands) and Nicolò Martinenghi (Italy) to the crown.

Speaking to the BBC Sport, Peaty said:

“It means the world to be me. It is not about who is the best all year round, it is who is the best on the day. It is about who is adaptable and who wants it more.

"When it comes down to it I am not racing for a time, I am racing myself.

"I want to say thank you to my family, my gorgeous partner and gorgeous son. This victory wasn't mine, it was the British team's and my family and friends'. I am just so relieved."

In the same race, Loughborough alumnus James Wilby produced a strong race of his own as he touched the wall in 58.96 to claim fifth place.

Elsewhere in the pool last night, current Loughborough students Marie Wattel (France) and Louise Hansson (Sweden) swam brilliantly in the women's 100m butterfly final.

In a tough line up, Hansson’s time of 56.22 was enough for a fifth-place finish, whilst Wattel’s time of 56.27 saw the Sport Management student take sixth.

Loughborough’s dedicated 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games website features all the latest news, videos, and medal tables from Japan. 

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 21/140

Notes for editors

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in the Guardian University League Table 2021, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.