The World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju gave us a glimpse at the next generation of great swimmers, but it was a current superstar who stole the show.
Adam Peaty finished the event with three gold medals and a world record as he underlined his position as arguably the greatest male breaststroker of all time.
Peaty, the reigning LEN European Short Course 100m champion, completed the treble double in the 50m and 100m breaststroke at the worlds, before playing a leading role in Great Britain’s stunning 4x100m medley relay gold.
Peaty had gone 56.88 in the semi-final of the 100m, becoming the first man to break the 57-second barrier. In fact no one else has even dipped under 58 seconds.
And after his two individual golds, Peaty split 57.20 as part of Britain’s victorious medley relay. Remarkably, that was not even the most impressive leg of the relay. Setting off more than a second behind five-time Olympic champion Nathan Adrian, Duncan Scott produced the second fastest 100m freestyle split of all time, coming home in 46.14 to stun the Americans.
IT’S GOLD FOR THE 4X100 MEDLEY BOYS ?
NEW EUROPEAN RECORD
WHAT. A. SWIM! pic.twitter.com/uDCKygki6q
— British Swimming (@britishswimming) July 28, 2019
That was Scott’s second medal in South Korea, after claiming bronze in the 200m freestyle. Luke Greenbank had led off the relay, adding that gold to his 200m backstroke bronze, with James Guy on the butterfly leg.
Aside from the British stars, there were a number of other standout European performances, notably 19-year-old Hungarian Kristof Milak.
He took gold in the 200m butterfly, smashing Michael Phelps’ ten-year-old world record in the process.
There was also a world record in the 200m breaststroke, where Anton Chupkov took half a second off Ippei Watanabe’s previous mark on the way to gold.
Fellow Russian Evgeny Rylov also enjoyed a fine Championships, with gold in the 200m backstroke, along with a further three silvers and a bronze.
On the women’s side, Katinka Hosszu continues to dominate the medley events, winning both the 200m and 400m medley, with compatriot Boglarka Kapas earning 200m butterfly gold.
Finally Sarah Sjostrom claimed five medals over the course of the meet, including gold in the 50m butterfly.
The question still remains, which of these stars will we see at Tollcross ISC in December when Euro Swim 2019 rolls into town?