David Charlesworth, PA
Adam Peaty admitted he was “devastated” at having to withdraw from the upcoming World Aquatics Championships in Budapest after breaking a bone in his foot earlier this week.
Peaty sustained the injury while training in the gym and faces six weeks out, meaning he will be unable to defend the 50 and 100m breaststroke and men’s 4x100m medley relay titles he won in 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.
The men’s 100m breaststroke, Peaty’s signature event where he won Olympic gold at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, is due to start on the opening day of the championships on June 18th, so the 27-year-old has reluctantly ruled himself out of the trip to Hungary.
“I’ve fortunately never had to deal with an injury in my swimming career so this is a real blow and a new challenge for me,” the three-time Olympic champion said in a post on his social media channels.
“I’m already in great hands and starting to recover but, honestly, I’m devastated. I was on track for a huge summer so, like when anything doesn’t go according to plan, it’s a really challenging time.
“I won’t compromise my recovery and I will use this time to reflect on what the sport means to me and what it feels like to watch someone else win a race I should be in. It’s not going to be easy!”
Peaty, who has topped the podium in the 50m and 100m breaststroke at the last three world championships, will now look towards the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which starts on July 28th.
Peaty won 100m breaststroke gold four years ago on the Gold Coast, where he settled for silver over half the distance.
“I’ll never shy away from a challenge but on this one I’ve got to use my head more than my heart,” Peaty added.
“I will be back in the pool as soon as I can be, with my focus on recovering and building up my strength ahead of the Commonwealth Games this summer.”