Adam Peaty’s Olympic gold prompts pride and pool party in Uttoxeter💥👩💥💥👩💥

No Olympian is ever guaranteed victory, but Britain’s swimming authorities were so confident that Adam Peaty would win gold on Monday that they sent out invitations for a celebratory pool party several days before he dived into the Tokyo pool for the 100m breaststroke final.

Their faith was rewarded just after 3am UK time when Peaty touched the side half a second faster than his nearest rival, becoming the first British swimmer to win back-to-back golds at the Olympics.

Shortly after sunrise, the British Swimming/Swim England bash began at Peaty’s home baths in Uttoxeter, with young swimmers ploughing up and down the lanes where the Olympian honed his craft. Watching them was John Plant, who started coaching Peaty when the future Olympian was just nine.

Plant was thrilled to see his protege retain his Olympic title. “He was brilliant, absolutely brilliant,” he beamed. The fact Peaty was the overwhelming favourite did not make his win a foregone conclusion, he insisted. “You always hope, you always expect, but there’s always an opportunity for something to go wrong,” said Plant.

Adam Peaty reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men’s 100m breaststroke final in Tokyo. Photograph: Fred Lee/Getty Images

Nine-year-old Peaty didn’t necessarily look like a boy who would one day dominate his sport so much that he hasn’t lost a 100m breaststroke race for seven years. “He was all arms and legs,” said Plant. “But he was always driven by the stopwatch. When we got the stopwatch out, Adam came alive.”

While Uttoxeter got the bunting out on Monday morning, Leeds was puffing out its chest after two of its athletes won gold medals. Tom Pidcock, 21, easily won the cross-country mountain biking and Matty Lee, 23, stormed to gold in the diving alongside Tom Daley. More tenuously, the city also tried to claim ownership of silver medal-winning triathlete Alex Yee, a Londoner who studied at Leeds Beckett university.

Yorkshire produced so many world-class athletes for the London Olympics that it would have ended the 2012 games 12th in the medal table. By lunchtime on Monday, the Yorkshire Post was boasting that the county was seventh in the world, thanks to Pidcock, Lee and Doncaster’s Bradly Sinden, who won silver in the taekwondo.

Back in Uttoxeter, Peaty’s mum and dad were being interviewed live on BBC Breakfast, looking slightly shellshocked. His mum, Caroline, said she had got up at 2.30am feeling “sick and nervous” to watch her son on the telly instead of in by the side of the pool as usual. Being at home had its advantages, she confided. “You can see more at home. You can actually see where he is in the pool. In Rio, we didn’t know who had won until the results came up.”

Presenter Dan Walker asked her about her lad “dropping a few f-bombs” in his post-race BBC interview (he declared himself “so fucking relieved” and insisted he “couldn’t give a shit” about his time). Caroline said she hadn’t heard because she was watching a different channel. But upon hearing he had indeed turned the airwaves blue, she said: “Never. I hope he hasn’t.” She will be having words when he returns from Japan.

At Uttoxeter leisure centre, young members of Peaty’s old club, Dove Valley, were buoyed by his success. Lucy Oldham, 15, who swims backstroke at county level, said he made her believe she too could one day be an Olympian. “It’s really inspiring and motivating because it shows our coaches know what they are doing. They said the same things to Adam as they say to us and it shows you can go far if you set your mind to it,” she said.

Former world champion swimmer Mark Foster was poolside to sing Peaty’s praises. No Briton has managed to retain their Olympic swimming title before “because it’s really, really, really difficult”, he said. “We’ve seen in the past Michael Phelps and your big American names but we haven’t had one of those in the past and now we’ve got one with Adam.”

Foster was so sure Peaty would triumph in the breastroke that he had mentally already put the medal around his neck. “But being the favour comes with pressure – pressure from the nation and pressure from yourself. He still has to stand behind that block and remain controlled and excited, but he delivers. Peaty delivers every time.”

To find your nearest club, visit discover.swimming.org.

Adam Peaty’s Olympic gold prompts pride and pool party in Uttoxeter

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