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Shock as Adam Peaty beaten and England’s James Wilby takes 100m breaststroke gold

The Englishman had never before lost a major final in his favoured event.

England's Adam Peaty.
England's Adam Peaty.
Image: PA

ADAM PEATY SLIPPED to a shock defeat in the men’s 100 metres breaststroke, finishing outside the medal positions as English compatriot James Wilby clinched Commonwealth Games gold.

Peaty had never before lost a major final in his favoured event and looked set for a three-peat as the champion at Glasgow 2014 and on the Gold Coast four years ago unsurprisingly led at the halfway point.

But he lost momentum in the closing stages and was reeled in by Wilby, who clocked 59.25 seconds at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, just over an hour’s drive from where Peaty grew up in Uttoxeter.

To worsen matters, Zac Stubblety-Cook finished second in 59.52secs while fellow Australian Sam Williamson took bronze in 59.82s, 0.04 ahead of fourth-placed Peaty.

birmingham-2022-commonwealth-games-day-three James Wilby celebrates his win. Source: PA

Peaty was making his comeback after suffering a broken foot in May, leading to him missing last month’s World Championship, and his time of 59.86 was just under two seconds slower than his personal best.

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“I don’t know what went wrong,” he said. “With 25m to go I had nothing in the tank. Maybe that’s overexposure on the foot. Sometimes you just have a bad race, I can’t pinpoint where I went wrong.

It was a slow final, I can’t remember the last time I went that slow. It just didn’t go right. Of course I’m disappointed, but that’s what makes you go faster next time.

“I chose to fight, I don’t really care about the stats or how long you’re undefeated. Every time I get on to this box, I’m willing to fight and race anyone in the world.

“I’ve kind of lost that spark, whether it’s with my foot, but I’ll be looking to find that over the next months and into the next two years.”

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