Commonwealth Games: Adam Peaty misses out on 100m breaststroke medal as James Wilby wins gold

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

On a night for the Lionesses, the man with the lion tattoo proved he was human after all. In a monstrous shock, Adam Peaty lost for the first time in four years, upstaged by fellow Englishman James Wilby.

It was suggested that, such has been Peaty’s dominance, he would win the 100metre breaststroke with only one fully functioning leg. But his lack of race fitness showed as he faded from the lead to finish outside the medals as his England teammate won a surprise gold medal.

“Sometimes it doesn’t go to plan,” said Peaty. “That’s the lack of training and racing.” Ten weeks ago, an attempted lunge in the gym at a training camp in Tenerife went wrong, he turned his foot and broke his fifth metatarsal.

It ruled him out of the World Championships and he held discussions with his coach Mel Marshall over whether to forego the Commonwealth Games.

But at a venue barely 40 miles away from where he grew up, he made the decision to test out his foot in only his sixth race this season in front of his home crowd.

Following his shock loss, he said: “I am a fighter, you have to have these moments to keep fighting. It’s a huge moment for me, it’s a part of my career where you choose to go on and keep fighting. It was just a bad race. It’s back to the drawing board and training, and see what happens.”

Peaty had not lost a race since the last Commonwealth Games in 2018. He would later reflect his mind wasn’t in the right place and he was lacking for motivation.

This time around, he did not lack for motivation, driving for every day of rehabilitation for the past 10 weeks to make a successful return.

Instead, watched by his girlfriend and son in the stands, Peaty was upstaged by Wilby, who trains in the same Loughborough pool as him but in a different training group.

After becoming one of the few people to upstage Peaty in his career, Wilby said: “I love racing, racing alongside him is always fun. I was able to execute my race the best I could. We all know what Adam is capable of. That one was really fun. I’m so happy for that, I’m so thrilled.”

Ten years to the day since Chad le Clos stunned the previously invincible Michael Phelps in the 200metre butterfly final at London 2012, the South African just missed out on gold.

Bidding for a fourth Commonwealth title over the distance, Le Clos, who had cryptically said that a “traumatic experience” had affected his mental health and motivation in the sport, had to make do with silver. New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt won gold with England’s James Guy winning the bronze.

Six months since having her leg amputated as the final straw to address unbearable pain, Alice Tai won gold in the 100m backstroke S8. Tai had been forced out of the Tokyo Olympics with double elbow surgery and then had the leg amputation.

After her gold, she said: “I can’t even believe I’m here. I had two surgeries on my arms and an amputation in January. I’ve been learning to walk again. I’m so grateful Team England let me come here to race. I can’t believe I just won that.”

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