Adam Peaty beaten as England’s James Wilby takes gold in the 100m breaststroke

Adam Peaty suffered an upset defeat in the men’s 100m breaststroke, finishing outside the medal standings when fellow Englishman James Wilby won gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Peaty had never before lost a major final at his favorite event and looked poised for a treble as champion at Glasgow 2014 and the Gold Coast four years ago, unsurprisingly leading at the halfway point.

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

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

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

“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 don’t remember the last time I was that slow. It just didn’t work out. 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 this box, I am ready to fight and compete with anyone in the world.

“I’ve lost that spark, either with my foot, but I’ll be looking to find it in the next few months and the next two years.”

James Wilby was a surprise winner in the men’s 100m breaststroke final (Tim Goode/PA)

While Peaty missed out, England still capped a memorable day on the sporting front with the top spot on the podium when Wilby was better than he was in 2018.

Wilby, who admitted that he was considering his future as a swimmer after a disappointing Olympic campaign, said: “It is certainly a special moment that I will remember forever.

“It just sums up for me the enjoyment and having that fun in sport is everything. We’ve all seen faster times than that, but I love it and it got me to the top of the podium this time.

“Everything else does not matter. I will always have that medal, I will always love to look at it and remember the moments that brought it here.”

Wilby is confident that Peaty will recover, adding, “He’s the fastest bracer in the world and they can’t take him away. Right now, I was getting that little bit of an advantage over him and I’m sure he’ll kick my ass later in the swim schedule.”

Alice Tai won gold just months after her leg was amputated below the knee (Tim Goode/PA)

Alice Tai won gold just months after her leg was amputated below the knee (Tim Goode/PA)

Alice Tai was another English gold medalist on Sunday night, prevailing in the women’s S8 100m backstroke final, just months after her right leg was amputated below the knee.

“It’s a bit surreal,” she said after arriving home in a time of 1min 13.64s, with Welshwoman Lily Rice finishing third.

“I started and ended last season with surgery, pulled out of Tokyo, and then got amputated in January. I’ve been learning to walk this year and getting back in the pool was a bit of fun as I missed swimming.”

James Guy picked up bronze in the men’s 200m butterfly final, where Chad le Clos’s silver took him to 18 Commonwealth Games medals, equaling the overall record held by shooting pair Michael Gault and Phil Adams.

Medi Harris of Wales was the bronze medalist in the women’s 100m backstroke, while the quartet of Freya Colbert, Tamryn van Selm, Abbie Wood and Freya Anderson also finished third in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay final.

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