Adam Peaty believes Great Britain’s success in the pool at Tokyo 2020 owes much to the culture and ethos fostered in recent years which is the envy of the many countries trailing behind them.
Peaty claimed Team GB’s first gold by winning the men’s 100 metres breaststroke while Tom Dean and Duncan Scott secured a famous one-two in the men’s 200 metres freestyle, the pair then helping to win the men’s relay event.
Britain have three swimming golds for the first time since the London 1908 Games and there is the prospect of further podium finishes to come, with Peaty, alongside Kathleen Dawson, James Guy and Freya Anderson, setting a new European record time of three minutes and 38.75 seconds in the mixed 4x100m medley relay heats on Thursday night.
The quartet were 2.27secs quicker than any of the other teams as they eased into Saturday morning’s final and Peaty thinks the hard work put in behind the scenes by British Swimming and the athletes is starting to bear fruit.
“It just shows that British Swimming is really going from strength to strength over the last six years,” said Peaty.
“The culture and the ethos, both of them we live by, is just evolutionising – something which is idolised within other teams now.
“It’s been great to get us off to a rolling start with the gold medal. What those other guys did is just remarkable and if I helped them just 0.5 per cent then that’s my job done.
“The team’s getting older, more experienced and I can’t wait for the next generation to start kicking through and start saying ‘this is possible’.”
Britain’s time also set an Olympic benchmark – although the winners of the first heat were always guaranteed that honour given this is the first Games to feature a mixed-gender swimming event at a Games.
Anderson, who is expected to be replaced by Anna Hopkin in this weekend’s final, performed anchoring duties for Britain and was happy to get the job done at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
“It feels really good, especially being on the team with these guys, they are some of the best swimmers in the world,” Anderson said.
“Me personally, I knew I had to step it up and get them through – hopefully Anna can take over in a few days’ time and get the gold.”
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