Adam Peaty Achieves “Project 56,” Breaks 100 Breast World Record

adam peaty, 2019 final world swimming championships
Adam Peaty at the World Championships; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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World Swimming Championships (Adam Peaty)

Gwangju 2019 

Day 1 semifinals

Men’s 100 Breast

Great Britain’s Adam Peaty has completed one of his ultimate career goals, taking down the 57-second barrier in the men’s 100 breast. Peaty achieved a time of 56.88, crushing the world record of 57.10 that he set at last year’s European Championships. Peaty went out in 26.63 and returned in 30.25, both splits quicker than his previous WR-splits of 26.75 and 30.35.

Peaty now ranks a whopping 1.4 seconds ahead of anyone else in history. He now owns the top 16 performances ever recorded, as well as 18 of the top 19 swims and 22 of the top 25.

“There’s no other word except for incredible,” Peaty said of his record-breaking performance. “Obviously, I’ve been chasing that for three years now. Ever since I touched that wall in Rio, I was like, ‘I could go faster.'”

Now, he has. When he came up short of the world record at the 2017 World title meet in Budapest, he first revealed his intentions of “Project 56.” At some point in the next few years, Peaty said, he wanted to make a run at 56 — at a time when much of the world still couldn’t believe that someone had even broken 58. It was just 11 years ago, after all, that Kosuke Kitajima first broke 59 at the Beijing Olympics.

Kitajima’s winning time at those Games was 58.91, followed four years later by Cameron van der Burgh winning in 58.46. Then came Peaty’s quantum leap, and his first attempt at an Olympic Games brought domination and the then-world record of 57.13. Now, he has entered 56 territory, with another chance at lowering the mark in Monday’s final (as he goes for a third-straight World title in the event) and then again in his Olympic title defense next year.

In the pool tonight, Italy’s Fabio Scozolli tried to stay with Peaty down the first 50 meters of the race, but when Peaty was out under world-record pace, the race was over. As is custom , no one could stay close to the British superstar, and he ended up posting the top qualifying time by almost two seconds.

Four others broke 59 in the heat, including China’s Yan Zibei (58.67), Great Britain’s James Wilby (58.83), Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki (58.89) and the USA’s Andrew Wilson (58.95). Most interestingly, Belarus’ Ilya Shymanovich, the second-fastest performer in history (58.29), missed the final after qualifying second in prelims. After a 58.87 in the morning, Shymanovich finished 12th in 59.38.

Wilson’s time of 58.95 made him the first American to break 59 since the 2017 World Championships, and only Kevin Cordes (58.64) and Cody Miller (58.87) have gone quicker among U.S. men.

Russia’s Kirill Prigoda took the final spot for Monday evening with his 59.21, locking out Scozolli by one hundredth.

Top eight qualifiers:

  1. Adam Peaty (GBR), 56.88
  2. Yan Zibei (CHN), 58.67
  3. James Wilby (GBR), 58.83
  4. Yasuhiro Koseki (JPN), 58.89
  5. Andrew Wilson (USA), 58.95
  6. Dmitriy Balandin (KAZ), 59.03
  7. Anton Chupkov (RUS), 59.15
  8. Kirill Prigoda (RUS), 59.21

8 comments

  1. Rich Davis

    On to ‘Project 55’. 😂😂😂

  2. Paul Clancy

    Unreal, what a talent

  3. Chris Laybourn

    Been told he’s going to try in the final😂

  4. Liam Goudeket

    Wow! 😳 that’s impressive! Set a goal and hitting it. Looks like the event itself was really fast!