Adam Peaty ended a roller coaster past few days at the Commonwealth Games on a high note as he claimed gold in the men’s 50 metres breaststroke final.
Peaty’s eight-year unbeaten run in the 100m distance ended on Sunday and he reflected he had expected too much of himself on his comeback from a broken foot he suffered in a training accident 10 weeks ago.
But he warned his rivals he was like a cornered lion ready to ‘bite’ back and duly claimed the only major gold medal missing from his vast collection after touching the wall first in 26.76 seconds.
Adam Peaty ended an emotional roller coaster by claiming gold in the 50m breaststroke final
Peaty told BBC Sport: ‘I’m a much happier man. I had two options this morning, I either fight or I don’t. If anyone knows me, I fight.
‘That means so much. I lost my spark at the start of the week and to have it back now, this is what it’s about.
‘That was the only one I hadn’t won in my career, the Commonwealth 50. So I can retire now!
The 27-year-old celebrates wildly after winning the 50m breaststroke final in Birmingham
‘No, no, but I’m very happy with my progress there.’
While Peaty said it was ‘heartbreaking’ after finishing fourth in the 100m final, he came in for criticism after later suggesting he was ‘not bothered’ about these Games and that his main focus was on the Paris Olympics in two years’ time.
However, after finishing 0.21s ahead of silver medallist Sam Williamson of Australia and Scotland’s Ross Murdoch, who took bronze, Peaty straddled a lane marker and let out a huge roar of emotion.
Peaty claimed the only major gold medal missing from his vast collection in Birmingham
He said after Tuesday’s win: ‘I want to be accountable for that (comment). It came across very wrong, a lot of emotions and yesterday I just turned up.
‘But people have got to understand, sport is like this (with a downward sweep of his arm), and I reached the bottom of the bottom yesterday.
‘To bring myself up with the crowd, bring myself up in my own mind, that’s the result.’