Birmingham 2022: Wilby claims shock gold with Peaty fourth

  • James Wilby stuns the field with 100m breaststroke Commonwealth gold, as Peaty finishes fourth
  • England team-mate Alice Tai claims an incredible win after leg amputation in January.
  • Six medals for Europeans on day three of swimming at Birmingham 2022
James Wilby claimed 200m silver on day one in Birmingham – British Swimming

Olympic champion Adam Peaty suffered his first 100m breaststroke defeat in over eight years as team-mate James Wilby claimed gold on the third day of action at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Peaty began his period of domination with victory in the event at Glasgow 2014 and defended that title at the Gold Coast 2018 Games.

His preparations for Birmingham 2022 were disrupted by a broke foot in May, but the world record holder was still the pre-race favourite after qualifying quickest for the final.

Peaty led heading into the final 25m, but began to tire and Wilby, who claimed 200m silver on the opening night of the Games, surged ahead.

“I love racing and racing alongside him (Peaty) is so much fun,” said Wilby.

“Tonight I executed it the best I could but we’re both incredible racers and know what Adam’s capable of and we’ll both be back, but I’m thrilled with that.”

Peaty will return for the 50m breaststroke event on Monday – Team England

Peaty stretched for the wall, but missed out on a medal with Australian duo Zac Stubblety-Cook and Sam Williamson touching ahead of him.

“When it comes to the race sometimes it doesn’t go to plan,” admitted Peaty.

“Yes there’s been a lack of training, racing, but it is what it is, I can’t overthink it, I’m a fighter and sometimes you’ve got to have these moments to keep on learning.”

Alice Tai was forced to miss Tokyo 2020 due to chronic pain but is targeting Paris 2024 – Team England

Peaty’s injury problems pales into insignificance though when compared to what Rio Paralympic champion Alice Taiof England has endured this year.

The Para swimmer opted to have her lower right leg amputated in January after experiencing prolonged debilitating pain in her right foot, but produced a brilliant performance to win S8 100m backstroke gold.

“I can’t believe I’m here,” she said. “I’ve had two surgeries since January, learned to walk again and didn’t think I’d be able to race again.

“I’m so grateful that Team England allowed me to come and swim here I can’t believe I just won that.”

Tupou Neiufi of New Zealand was second as Lily Rice claimed a first medal for Wales in the pool at Birmingham 2022 with bronze.

Medi Harris made her major event debut for GB at last month’s World Championships – British Swimming

They soon had a second, with 19-year-old Medi Harris continuing her impressive debut senior international season with bronze in the women’s 100m backstroke.

It was an event which saw the Olympic gold and silver medallists Kaylee McKeown and Kyle Masse replicated their results from Tokyo 2020.

England’s James Guy won the eighth Commonwealth medal of his career with bronze in the 200m butterfly with defending champion Chad le Clos of South African second behind New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt.

Although disappointed not to win the event for the fourth time in a row, le Clos did become the joint most decorated athlete in Commonwealth Games history with an 18th honour.

The final race of day three at Birmingham 2022 saw Australia claim gold and set a new world record time of 7:39.29 in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

Canada were second with England third.