Being a spectator at Wimbledon left Adam Peaty contemplating how much he had left in the tank and how many more years he could continue at the top of the sport.
Taking place in the Royal Box at the end of opening week, he was more impressed with an absentee than the players in action on center court.
“I’m inspired by all the best players but Roger Federer is the one I think he’s just classy for, right?” Peat said. “The way he presents himself, his performances, his attitude in sport, he’s someone you want to look up to, you’re coming into your late 30s or early 40s still doing your sport so why not .”
This begs the question of whether Peaty can be the Federer of swimming. He has achieved similar periods of dominance, but can he match the Swiss in terms of longevity?
He said: “It’s still 10 years or so and it’s a brutal sport, especially as you get older, but you find new ways, don’t you.”
Adam Peaty gets a standing ovation as he sat in the Royal Box at Wimbledon this summer
There are partial parallels between Federer and Peaty, the notable absentees from their respective big summer events, in the Englishman’s case, the World Aquatics Championships.
He suffered a broken foot when a lunge in the gym during training camp went wrong. He heard a crack and an MRI revealed the injury, which took six to 12 weeks to heal.
His comeback comes at the Commonwealth Games, where he suffered his last defeat in the individual breaststroke – at Gold Coast in 2018. Suffering from shoulder problems and a lack of motivation, it served as the springboard for all the success that has come. followed.
The foot injury was the only setback amidst it all, unless you were considering an exit from Strictly Come Dancing, which was much earlier than he had hoped.
“This [the Commonwealth Games] was not a big championship for me,” Peaty said. “My goal was a bit elsewhere. It was not me. But I learned so much from that experience and came back to the Europeans a few weeks later and broke the world record.AFP via Getty Images
“You have those parts of your career, but it’s the resilience and the fight back that really matters. If someone annoys me or a storyline annoys me, it sets a fire and you work at an incredible pace to I knew I wasn’t that athlete and I was going to prove to the world that I was that athlete.
“I had to go through some really bad times where I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t do anything and see other people progress. If you store this in a bottle and use it when you need it, no one else can come near you when you have this drive.
When that injury – the first serious of his career at the age of 27 – hit, his trainer Mel Marshall asked him if he’d rather have a few weeks off than turn to other forms of training. .
On reflection, he realizes that was “advanced psychology” on his part. “She knew the answer, but she did it to plant the seed, so it was my choice and that way I was going to work harder,” Peaty said.
The three-time Olympic champion is back from injury and hopes to thrive at the Commonwealth Games
Rehabilitation went better than expected, his training up to par, the only question mark on his running pace. He has two races under his belt this season, compared to the usual 20 at this time in the calendar.
It means his usual world records might prove a blow too far in Birmingham, but in some ways the injury has added motivation.
It didn’t have the same Tokyo Olympics slump that he suffered following the last Games, in Rio, but he admits he was exhausted by the time he took the blocks in Japan.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Adam Peaty
“I took a few months off and did some dancing and this injury gave me a period of rest and an opportunity to fight back,” he said. During his rehabilitation, he asked himself: ‘Can I keep going high up, can I keep doing these championships?’
“I don’t see why he will be arrested. Of course, some days will be hard, you will wake up and say to yourself ‘fuck, I’m in pain, I can’t open my eyes, I’m really tired’. But I find joy in it because you put your body in this hole. To me, that’s negative energy and those thoughts don’t really belong in my brain.
Adam Peaty is an ambassador for British sportswear brand Castore, wearing Castore’s SS22 collection during his trip to the Commonwealth Games this month. Available for purchase on castore.com
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