Adam Peaty finds it strange people asking him about retirement
Nearly one year on from his brilliant breaststroke exploits, the primal instincts inside Peaty are once again beginning to stir as he prepares for the defence of his 50m and 100m titles at the world championships this week.
Next Sunday, Peaty, who is unbeaten in more than three years over both the one and two length dash, will thud his chest on the blocks and likely roar to yet more golden bounty in Budapest.
It is understandable, then, that he should express surprise that some question why he should carry on swimming.
The 22-year-old said: “I am so young, so yes it has been weird when people ask whether I might retire now I’ve won Olympic gold. But this is where you start to get the ball rolling.”
This is not what his rivals want to hear. Such has been his title monopoly since 2014 that Peaty has noticed even more cameras videoing his every move in the pool this year.
Adam Peaty is unbeaten in more than three years
Adam Peaty wants to dip under 57 seconds in the 100m for the first time
I’ve always said that a copy is not as good as the genuine product
“You can tell they are wanting to learn from me,” he said. “When you go to a professional meet there are cameras set up and they will be looking at what I do at the start and end of my kick, and what’s the stroke that’s different from theirs.
“But I’ve always said that a copy is not as good as the genuine product.”
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The real deal is how he is viewed in Japan, where Peaty will aim to become the first British swimmer to defend his Olympic titles in three years’ time.
“I want that for my country,” he said. “I’m not really fussed that people want to copy me as it means I must be doing something right. The Japanese were doing it back in 2015 and it’s part of the game.”
As a budding breaststroker, Peaty took the time to learn from his heroes, including Japanese great Kosuke Kitajima.
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“I was obsessed by watching videos of other swimmers’ technique and how they trained,” he said. “It taught me a lot and the best way to learn is visually.
“I took so much away from motivational videos but I don’t need to watch them any more as I know what I want in the future.”
Peaty’s quest includes dipping under 57 seconds over 100m for the first time and adding the 200m to his Olympic assault, which could start at next year’s Commonwealth Games.
He did briefly take time out from his regime following Rio with a trip to Los Angeles, where he put on 10kg through a diet of fast food but since January 1, Peaty has been based at Loughborough with long-term coach Mel Marshall.
The monotony has been interspersed with training trips to Dubai, Tenerife and Thailand, which has included resistance work such as pulling parachutes.
The world No1, back and ready to fly in Budapest at a prime 88kg, said: “It’s given me so much confidence going into the world championships. I knew what I wanted going to Thailand and there is nothing like training under the sun.
“When you are so tired of the rollercoaster of training, life, 5am starts and grey clouds in Loughborough, the warm weather really helps.”
It also helps being such a grounded athlete, barring taking out his powerful Mercedes, the other indulgence he has added since Olympic glory.
But he added: “I’ve got the right friends and family around me and as long as they keep me on the straight and narrow, you can achieve anything.”
Adam Peaty is working with Sun-Pat Peanut Butter to help get kids active. Sun-Pat will be giving away 10 sports kits every day throughout the summer holidays. To win your pack and for more ways to keep the kids active, go to www.sunpat.co.uk/fuellingfamilies