Adam Peaty suffers shock Commonwealth Games defeat as team-mate James Wilby wins 100m breaststroke

Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
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England’s James Wilby shattered team-mate Adam Peaty’s hold on the 100m breaststroke title with a superb swim at Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games.

Wilby, so long in the shadow of Peaty, screamed with delight as his finish overhauled the fading Olympic champion and brought him home in 59.25 seconds.

Peaty, who broke his foot in May, ended up fourth, behind Australian duo Sam Stubblety-Cook and Zac Williamson.

“Sometimes it doesn’t go to plan,” Peaty told BBC Sport afterwards.

“That’s a lack of training, lack of racing… it is what it is.

“I’m a fighter and sometimes you have got to have these moments to keep fighting.”

Peaty, 27 insisted that he still intends to defend his Olympic title in Paris in two years’ time despite his first 100m breaststroke defeat since 2014 and described Wilby’s performance as “great”.

Peaty had raised his friend’s fist into the air, in the style of a boxing referee crowning a winner, while they were still in the water.

“At the end of the day we’re both incredible racers,” Wilby told BBC Sport. “We all know what Adam is capable of.

“We’ll both be back to race again and race each other and It’s always going to be an exciting one. But that one was really fun.”

Peaty had lead by 0.13 seconds at halfway and an expectant crowd, including his partner and young son, anticipated victory.

Instead they got a crowd-scene finish. Peaty’s stroke shortened and by the time he had glided to the wall, he had been passed by his rivals. His time of 59.86 was well short of his own world record of 56.88.

Peaty is due to return for the 50m breaststroke heats on Monday morning, less than 14 hours after his defeat.

Tai takes gold

Earlier in the evening, England’s Alice Tai put clear water between herself and the competition to take 100m S8 backstroke gold by more than four seconds. Victory continues the 23-year-old’s impressive comeback from major surgery.

After years of pain, Tai, who was born with bilateral talipes, or clubfoot, opted to amputate her right leg below the knee in January.

“I realised I was wasting time, if a better quality life was possible what was I waiting for?” she said at the time.

Major medals certainly are still part of her life.

The change initially made turns challenging, but Tai showed she has adapted quickly as she left silver-winning New Zealander Tupou Neiufi in her wake.

Wales’ 19-year-old Medi Harris showed her potential with bronze in a high-class 100m backstroke won by Australian Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown.

“I’m so happy with that swim, it was a really good race,” she told BBC Sport

“Hopefully as time goes on I’ll be able to work on that back end and keep up with them.”

Meanwhile, England’s James Guy won bronze – his first medal of these Games – in the men’s 200m butterfly and England’s team of Freya Colbert, Tamryn van Selm, Abbie Wood and Freya Anderson took bronze in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

McKeon wins 11th gold and Le Clos 18th medal

Australia’s Emma McKeon shrugged off speculation over her relationship with team-mates Kyle Chalmers and Cody Simpson, her partners past and present, to win a record 11th Commonwealth gold.

The 28-year’s collection of Commonwealth golds now surpasses that of any Australian. Fellow swimmers Ian Thorpe, Susie O’Neill and Leisel Jones previously shared the mark with 10.

McKeon led home a green and gold clean sweep in the 50m freestyle with team-mates Meg Harris and Shayna Jack following her home for silver and bronze. McKeon’s winning time was 23.99, 0.21secs off compatriot Cate Campbell’s Games record.

South Africa’s Chad le Clos won a record-equalling 18th Commonwealth Games medal, but had to settle for silver as Lewis Clareburt took his 200m butterfly title.

Le Clos’ haul matches that of two shooters – England’s Mick Gault and Australian Phil Adams.

The 30-year-old led by a third of a second at halfway, but could not resist New Zealander Clareburt’s late surge.

South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker won 200m breaststroke gold with England’s Molly Renshaw just outside the medals in fourth.

The evening concluded with the Australian quartet of Madison Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O’Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus beating the world record on their way to 4x200m freestyle relay gold.

Australia’s time of 7:39.29 was an improvement of more than a second on the 7:40.33 set by surprise gold-medal winners China at the Olympics last summer.

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