Peaty shocked at Commonwealths as Australia smash relay world record

·4-min read

Adam Peaty suffered a shock defeat in the men's 100m breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday as powerhouse Australia smashed the world record in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay.

World record holder Peaty came to Birmingham with uncertainty over his form after suffering a broken foot but his fourth-place finish at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre stunned the home fans.

England team-mate James Wilby took gold in a time of 59.25sec, with Zac Stubblety-Cook second and his fellow Australian Sam Williamson third.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Peaty, roared on by the crowd when he made his way to the starting blocks, was first at the turn but faded in the second 50m.

Peaty, who missed the world championships in Budapest in June due to to his foot injury, had been unbeaten in the 100m breaststroke in a long-course global championships since 2014.

But he said Sunday's race was a struggle.

"When it comes down to the race sometimes it doesn't go to plan," Peaty told the BBC. "I was hurting from the 50m but you know that's a lack of training, lack of racing."

He added: "I can't overthink it. I'm a fighter and sometimes you have got to have these moments to keep fighting."

The 27-year-old said the Paris Olympics in 2024 were firmly on his radar.

"The next two years are going to be huge -- how we attack that now, I don't know," he said. "Because I haven't done two winter blocks in a long time so it's back to the drawing board and back to training."

- World record -

On a dramatic night in the Birmingham pool, Australia set a new world record in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay.

The team of Madison Wilson, Kiah Melverton, Mollie O'Callaghan and Ariarne Titmus powered home in 7min 39.29sec to beat China's previous mark of 7:40.33.

Fifteen-year-old Summer McIntosh got Canada off to a flyer but Melverton established a lead for Australia that they never relinquished.

Two-time Olympic champion Titmus powered through her leg to break the record, which was set at last year's Games in Tokyo.

Earlier, South Africa's Chad le Clos won a record-equalling 18th Commonwealth Games medal after taking silver in the men's 200m butterfly.

The 30-year-old came to Birmingham with 17 medals across three Games and has now pulled level with shooters Michael Gault and Phil Adams.

The defending champion was in the lead as he turned with 50m to go but New Zealand's Lewis Clareburt found an extra gear to edge him out.

Clareburt touched in 1:55.60, 0.29sec ahead of the South African, to win his second gold medal in Birmingham after winning the men's 400m individual medley.

"I'm gutted not to have won, I'll be honest," said Le Clos. "I would've cut my finger off to win tonight. It meant everything to me and my family –- everyone's in the stands, my friends flew out for this race."

Emma McKeon set a new Australian record of 11 Commonwealth gold medals by winning the women's 50m freestyle.

She came to Birmingham with eight golds in two previous editions of the Games -- two behind fellow Australian swimmers Ian Thorpe, Susie O'Neill and Leisel Jones.

Two relay golds put the 28-year-old, who won seven medals at last year's Tokyo Olympics, level with her retired compatriots.

On Sunday she became the outright record-holder in style, powering home in 23.99sec to see off the challenge of compatriots Meg Harris and Shayna Jack.

"It is special," she said of her achievement. "It makes me reflect on the last eight years since my first Commonwealth Games and I can see how far I've come as a person and an athlete.

"I find it hard to be proud of myself at times so that's something I've struggled with along the way."

On another storming night for Australia in the pool, Olympic champion Kaylee McKeown won the women's 100m backstroke in a time of 58.60.

South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker took gold in the women's 200m breaststroke in a time of 2:21.92.

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