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Staffordshire's Adam Peaty cruises into 100m breaststroke semi-finals on injury return

‘It’s blown the cobwebs out,’ said Peaty after qualifying fastest for the semi-finals.

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Staffordshire swimmer Adam Peaty shook off a few nerves on his return from injury to top the timesheet in the men’s 100 metres breaststroke heats and cruise into Saturday night’s semi-finals.

Peaty missed last month’s World Championship after fracturing a bone in his foot in a freak training accident in May, but he showed no persisting issues in his first outing at the Commonwealth Games.

He clocked 59.92 seconds – the only swimmer to breach the one-minute barrier – to win his heat and is well poised to claim a hat-trick of titles in his favoured event after prevailing in 2014 and 2018.

Adam Peaty is targeting a hat-trick of men's 100m breaststroke titles at the Commonwealth Games (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Adam Peaty is targeting a hat-trick of men’s 100m breaststroke titles at the Commonwealth Games (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“It’s blown the cobwebs out,” the three-time Olympic gold medallist said. “I was nervous because I haven’t raced in so long. That was my third race this year, I’ve normally done about 20 by now. It is what it is.

“(The foot) is good. I can dive so that’s good. It felt a lot faster than the 59.9, but, hey ho, that’s the timing board, isn’t it?

“I didn’t really need to do anything, I saw the heats come through and I was like, ‘You know what, it’s going to be wasted energy going fast this morning,’ so we’ll see how we go tonight.”

Tom Dean and Duncan Scott topped their respective heats in the men’s 200m freestyle ahead of Saturday night’s final, where the pair will go head-to-head in a rematch of last year’s Olympics showpiece.

Tom Dean, left, and Duncan Scott will be in action in the men's 200m freestyle final tonight (Joe Giddens/PA)
Tom Dean, left, and Duncan Scott will be in action in the men’s 200m freestyle final (Joe Giddens/PA)

England’s Dean edged out Scotland’s Scott by just 0.04secs at Tokyo 2020, as the duo became the first British male swimmers to share the podium since the 1908 Games.

Scott is also into the men’s 400m individual medley final later on Saturday at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre after finishing top of his heat.

A packed out crowd on the morning reserved one of the biggest cheers for Maldives swimmer Mohamed Rihan Shiham, who finished one minute 17.98s behind Scott in his heat.

“The crowd is amazing,” the 15-year-old said afterwards. “It means the world to me to be here. It’s an amazing experience.”

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