Peaty Traces Route From Cub to Lion as He Looks to Guide London Roar to Las Vegas
Adam Peaty will compete at the London Aquatics Centre for the first time since claiming quadruple gold at the 2016 European Championships determined to steer London Roar to the inaugural International Swimming League (ISL) final in Las Vegas in December.
Adam Peaty returns to the place where he wrote one of the most outstanding lines in swimming history when he competes at the London Aquatics Centre this weekend.
The Briton raced at the Aquatics Centre for the first time in April 2015, a significant milestone as he set about changing the complexion of the 100m when he became the first man to break the 58-second barrier with a time of 57.92secs.
It was the moment when for the first time a breaststroke swimmer - on the ‘slowest stroke’ - matched the speed of Johnny ‘Tarzan’ Weissmuller en-route to the Olympic gold in 1924.
No other swimmer has yet dipped inside 58 seconds while Peaty has gone into outer orbit, lowering his own world record to 56.88secs.
He will compete for London Roar at the International Swimming League (ISL) this weekend as the team seeks to book its place in the grand final in Las Vegas next month by finishing in the top two.
Looking back, Peaty said: “That world record set the marker but I was in a very, very different place to where I am now. I was still a very young person, a young boy."
“I look completely different, my whole face has just changed. I was looking at some photos the other day from Rio and my teeth and jaw have changed, I just look like a boy. Now I have hopefully turned into a man. I am 25 next month which is getting on."
“I think that is the most important thing with ISL - we can survive a little bit longer; athletes are getting older, coaches are staying on longer, if there is all that financial support and places to race, it keeps interest in the sport as well."
“It is a just a circle hopefully of success.”
It will be Peaty’s second appearance in the ISL, swimming’s first professional league, with Energy Standard and London Roar currently occupying the top two places in the European standings ahead of Team Iron and Aqua Centurions.
As things stand, they will progress to the grand final where they would face the LA Current and Cali Condors at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center from 20-21 December.
Peaty said: “This is very important for me, it’s very important to the team to make Vegas. I’ll be very down if we don’t."
“I’d be very disappointed if I don’t but at the same time I am in deep training. I am not going to shave for this meet like some people."
“This meet for me is a lot of fun: it is growing the sport the first season and I think next season it will get very, very competitive with even more at stake."
“We have got a lot of points and it would be quite disastrous not to make that.”
Triple Olympic champion and Team Iron captain Katinka Hosszu issued a message of defiance, saying: “Being the owner and the captain, I will be really frustrated if we do not make Vegas."
“We are definitely not going down without a fight so we are putting everything together to make sure we are fighting until the last second."
“I am going to make sure that is what my team is going to do and have that attitude."
“It should be fun either way but it is a really high level of competition.”
LA Current captain Matt Grevers will be watching on, a week after leading his side to a late victory over Cali Condors as both teams secured qualification in College Park, Maryland.
He said: “I love it. I am going to watch it not just for reconnaissance: I am going to watch it for the enjoyment of the sport."
“I watched the first weeks’ battles when I wasn’t swimming: I thought it was so incredible."
“I tried to get all my friends to watch it, all my family, like ‘hey I’m not swimming but this is an incredible event and it is such a spectator-friendly event that you guys need to watch it’ so I am just trying to spread the word as much as I can."
“I really enjoy it so I am going to watch it because I want it – it’s awesome, it’s an incredible experience and the quality is just so high that you really want to watch it.”
About the ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition launching in 2019 with teams in both Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar) and the United States (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers). The inaugural season will include matches in Indianapolis IN, Naples ITA, Lewisville TX, Budapest HUN, College Park MD, London GBR, and the championship finale at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The ISL aims to create groundbreaking projects, in both form and content, exploring the full potential of competitive swimming while securing sustainable commercial growth in the sport.