Adam Peaty upgraded his bronze medal from the previous weekend to a silver medal this time round as he took the second step on the podium on leg two of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup in Athens over the weekend.
Lining up for the Men’s 50m Breaststroke event off the back of a solid performance in Berlin last time round, the 28-year-old looked improved throughout the length – settling into his stroke following a solid underwater transition to make his way through the field.
He was on the hips of China’s Qin Haiyang, who ultimately took the gold, as the finish came into view – powering into the wall to improve on his time from leg one in Berlin – much to the excitement of those in attendance at the Athens Olympic Aquatic Centre.
It was a spectacle throughout the race, with world-record-holder Peaty always making his mark on the race before the field head to Budapest for the final stop of the World Cup tour next weekend.
Speaking to World Aquatics following his achievement, the three-time Olympic champion found inspiration in his performances so far – in what are his first set of races at a World Aquatics event since his time at the World Short Course Championships last December.
“For me, it’s a really big drop for me from this morning. The crowd is absolutely amazing, thank you Greece. We like to be racing in places where a lot of people have a lot of passion. I just want to say thank you to everyone for supporting that, because that was the first race where I was like, ‘I am getting back now after two years’,” he said.
The result came the day after the athlete took a sixth-place finish in the 100m Breaststroke – repeating his finish from the week before in the event. He alluded to his performance in that race when commenting on the paths he has taken to return to where he wants to be in the sport after time away from elite competition.
“Finding the path is like a maze: I try something new, and it’s a dead end, try something new and another dead end. Trying something new, we got halfway down the maze. Today was halfway down the maze, but tomorrow might be another dead end. Being a mature athlete, one that has been in this sport for 18 years, it does take maturity,” he added.
There was a stronger British presence in the Greek capital than in Berlin, with Calvin Fry, Michael Ripper and Jamie Ingram all taking to the pool. Fry recorded 22nd-place finishes in both the Men’s 50m & 100m Freestyle events, with Ripper’s best being a 14th-place finish in the Men’s 200m Freestyle and Ingram’s a 13th-place in the Men’s 100m Butterfly – building on his 18th-place from Berlin.
There promises to be an even bigger selection of British athletes in action for the final leg of the series in Budapest, which get underway on 20th October.
Click here for the full results from the second leg of the competition in Athens.