Few can understand what Adam Peaty – Duncan Scott goes through

Peaty would have been a star attraction at this week’s British Swimming Championships but withdrew, saying on social media that he was “tired” and “not enjoying the sport” as he had for the past decade.

He’s still training and still has his sights set on Paris 2024, where he can only emulate Michael Phelps among the men by winning a third straight pool title in the men’s 100m breaststroke.

But stepping out of the spotlight now may be beneficial in the long run, according to Team GB teammate Scott, who co-won silver in the men’s 4x100m medley relay at the last two Olympics.

“I’m not sure there are many people in Britain or in the world who can understand what he’s been through,” said Scott, who is competing in the national trials in Sheffield this week.

“What he has done is historic and I imagine the external pressures, but also the internal drive, are quite exhausting. I imagine that is a great relief. He’s probably just bringing it up.

“He has so many people following him, he doesn’t want to let them down. The cameras aren’t on when we’re training 20 to 25 hours a week, but they come on when we’re ready to perform at our best.

“Nobody knows what happens day in and day out, so it’s probably affected him a bit and I’m sure a bit of rest and recovery, mentally more than anything, and he’ll be back for sure.”

Duncan Scott, right, and Tom Dean compete this week in the British Swimming Championships (Tim Goode/PA)
Duncan Scott, right, and Tom Dean compete this week in the British Swimming Championships (Tim Goode/PA)

Scott, who became the first Briton to win four medals at one Olympiad in 2021, began his Ponds Forge campaign by finishing second in the men’s 100m freestyle final, 0.01 seconds behind Lewis Burras.

Burras touched the finish line in 47.99 seconds, while Matthew Richards and Tom Dean, who along with Scott won gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle in Tokyo two years ago, finished third and fourth respectively in a strong field.

“I know that each and every one of them is looking not just within Britain, but how they perform on an international stage and that is also very exciting,” Scott said ahead of the masterpiece.

“Not everyone has a closed tunnel vision about Great Britain, the most important thing is how we compete internationally.”

Olympic mixed combination champion Anna Hopkin won gold in the women’s 50m freestyle in 24.51, nearly a second ahead of silver medalist Rebecca Guy (25.30) while Eva Okaro (25.36) completed the podium.

Daniel Jervis started the night with victory in the men’s 1500m, finishing in 14:46.95, a time short of the qualifying time for the World Championships in Fukuoka later this year.

Charlie Hutchison won the men’s 400-meter individual medley final, while Laura Stephens prevailed in the women’s 200-meter butterfly final.


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