Budapest: Adam Peaty blasted his way into the men’s 50m breaststroke semi-finals on Tuesday by lowering his own world-record to shake up the morning heats at the world aquatic championships.
The 22-year-old clocked 26.10 seconds, lowering his own mark of 26.42 set at the world champs in Kazan two years ago.
“I wasn’t going for a world record, I was just trying to qualify for the semis,” said the Brit, who says he can go even faster.
“That world record was two years old, so it was kind of due another push on.
“Last night gave me the confidence as I was out on 26.50 [for the first 50m].
“I wanted to get that best lane for the semi, we’ll push it on for the final.”
It is the second world-record to fall at the world championships in Budapest after Sarah Sjostrom swam the 100m freestyle in 51.71 seconds on Sunday.
Peaty’s main rival in Wednesday’s final looks to be Cameron van der Burgh, who was only 0.44 seconds behind in the heats.
Following Peaty’s exploits, Katie Ledecky of the United States cruised into the women’s 200m freestyle semi-finals.
She was the second fastest qualifier behind Italy’s Frederic Pellegrini who clocked 1:56.07.
Australia’s Emma McKeon, who won silver in the women’s 100m butterfly on Monday, and Katinka Hosszu, who won the women’s 200m IM gold, were just behind.
“I didn’t get much sleep last night, then I missed my bus getting here this morning,” revealed McKeon.
“It wasn’t really a rush, I was probably a bit too relaxed, I just got the next one.”
The 20-year-old Ledecky, who has already picked up 400m and 4x100m freestyle gold medals in Budapest, will race in the women’s 1500m freestyle final on Tuesday.
Ledecky can make history with a 12th worlds gold medal of her career and become the most decorated female swimmer in championships history.
“It’s just taking it one step at a time, kinda waiting out the day,” said Ledecky, who won her heat.
“I knew where I had to be, the only thing I wanted to do this morning was get a [good] lane for tonight.
“There’s a lot going on, there’s medal ceremonies, warm down, all those little things.
“I’m just trying to limit the walking and staying off my feet as much as I can.”
Sun’s battle royal
Sun Yang, who has won the men’s 800m freestyle for the last three world championships, had a battle royal in his heat for Wednesday’s final.
He was pushed all the way by Italy’s Gabriele Detti and just won the heat.
Italy’ Gregorio Paltrinieri was quickest at 7:45.31 with Sun 3.97 seconds back as the fifth fastest.
Australia’s Mack Horton, the Olympic 400m champion who lost Sunday’s final to Sun, dropped out of the 800m to focus on Saturday’s 1500m freestyle heats.
Local favourite Laszlo Cseh of Hungary was the fastest qualifier into the men’s 200m butterfly semi-finals on Tuesday night.
“It’s crazy swimming in front of this crowd,” said Cseh, who’s heat was welcomed by a deafening roar.
Japan’s Daiya Seto, the 400m medley world champion in 2013 and 2015, was second fastest.
The 32-year-old Cseh, who won his first world championships gold medal back in 2005, clocked one minute, 54.08 seconds as he looks to defend his title.
South Africa’s Chad le Clos, the 2012 Olympic champion, was fifth fastest at 1.82 seconds behind.
“I knew Laszlo was going to be quick, he likes to go home fast in the morning,” said Le Clos, who dropped out of the 200m freestyle heats to focus on the fly.