DOHA – Briton Adam Peaty’s hopes of a confidence-boosting win in the 100 metres breaststroke were dashed on Feb 12 as the double Olympic champion was forced to settle for bronze behind American winner Nic Fink at the World Aquatics Championships.
On the comeback trail after taking a mental health break in 2023, world record-holder Peaty qualified fastest for the final at the Aspire Dome with a time of 58.60 seconds but was half a second slower with the title on the line.
Fink, a silver and bronze medallist at the past two editions, won in 58.57 seconds, with Italy’s 2022 world champion Nicolo Martinenghi taking silver, 0.27sec adrift.
“The swimming speed is fine, over the next five months, I know that is only going to improve and that is my thing, but the skills are just not good enough at this moment,” said the 29-year-old Peaty, who is aiming for a third successive gold in the event at the 2024 Paris Games.
“So it is bittersweet because we did not come here for medals. I wasn’t really to fuss about aiming for a medal here because that is just not the target. We’ve come off a hard bank of work and last night gave me a glimmer of hope thinking I could get faster even today.
“I pushed it a little too far in the first 50 (metres) but, at the end, it’s good to be a part of (this). Definitely not an easy race to do... Of course, we’ve got a long way to go.”
Fink’s fellow American Kate Douglass defended her 200m individual medley title, burning away in the final freestyle leg to earn a time of 2min 7.05sec, less than a second outside the world record. A body length behind was Canada’s Sydney Pickrem who took silver with China’s Yu Yiting completing the podium.
“That definitely hurt a lot. A lot more than it usually does at the end of the race. I’m really happy with it,” she said.
Germany’s Angelina Kohler won the women’s 100m butterfly title in a relatively weak field missing Canadian world champion Maggie MacNeil and the Fukuoka minor medallists, Zhang Yufei and Emma McKeon.
The 23-year-old Kohler burst into tears in the pool after winning in 56.28 seconds, 0.33 seconds ahead of American silver medallist Claire Curzan and Swede Louise Hansson. It was the German’s first world medal of any colour at her fourth championships.
A day after elect...