Adam Peaty breaks 100m breaststroke world record again

Getty Images
0 Comments

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — By improving his own world record in the 100m breaststroke again, Olympic champion Adam Peaty is within one-hundredth of a second of completing his “Project 56.”

The British swimmer won gold in 57.00 seconds at the European Championships on Saturday, shaving 0.13 off his previous best mark, which he swam at the Rio de Janeiro Games two years ago.

Peaty, who has the 14 fastest times in the discipline, is the only swimmer to beat the 58-second mark, and last autumn he announced his ambition to go under 57 as well.

“I don’t want to just win, I want to dominate. And that’s not an arrogant side, that’s the competitive side in me,” he said on Saturday.

With a reaction time at the start of just 0.47, Peaty looked sharp from the beginning of the race. He never had his lead under threat. He beat James Wilby by 1.54 for a British 1-2 finish. Anton Chupkov of Russia finished 1.96 behind in third.

“It’s a weird one because I wasn’t going after a world record. But after the heat yesterday I knew I was in good shape,” said Peaty, who was still far from a world record in that heat (57.89) and in the semifinals (58.04), but he announced he “would be on my full game” for the final.

“After the semi I was back in the 58s but it just shows what you can do if you have a positive mental attitude,” he said.

It’s Peaty’s ninth European long-course title, to add to his five world titles.

In the buildup, Peaty said he wasn’t focusing on setting world records or below-57 finishing times anymore after his disappointing showing at the Commonwealth Games.

On the Gold Coast in April, he won the 100m breaststroke in only 58.84, and suffered a first defeat since 2014 in the 50m breaststroke, where he was edged by South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh.

“When you go four years without losing, you kind of get complacent even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself,” he said, adding that a “spider web of support” — his girlfriend, family, and coaches — helped him to rediscover his joy in the sport.

“It’s not just my victory tonight. It’s their victory as well. I didn’t train too hard these last months. I got the balance right between training smart and training very hard.”

Just missing out on a time below 57 didn’t bother him.

“No, that gives me another level of motivation,” he said. “If I’d achieved that, people would be talking about ‘Project 55.’”

An hour after Peaty’s achievement, Kliment Kolesnikov set a world record in the 50m backstroke final. The Russian finished in 24 seconds to beat the previous best mark set by Britain’s Liam Tancock, who timed 24.04 at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.

Robert-Andrei Glinta of Romania won silver after trailing Kolesnikov by 0.55, and Shane Ryan of Ireland finished 0.64 behind for bronze.

It’s the 18-year-old Kolesnikov’s second gold medal of the European Championships after winning the 4x100m freestyle with the Russian team on Friday. He also won four European titles at the short-course championships in Copenhagen last year.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Chase Kalisz, among Floyd, swim stardom, Waffle House, at home in Athens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRkbJOdT_Y8

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
Getty
0 Comments

Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
Getty
0 Comments

Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!