Peaty, Dressel add more golds, Horton warned for Sun protest

Adam Peaty celebrates his 100m breaststroke victory

There were golds for Adam Peaty and Caeleb Dressel on Monday, while Mack Horton was the subject of a warning for his earlier protest.

Perennial champions Adam Peaty and Caeleb Dressel each recorded victories at the World Aquatics Championships on Monday.

Peaty, with five prior world titles, had set the men’s 100-metre breaststroke record in the semi-finals, breaking the 57-second barrier.

And although he was slower the following day, frustrated in his bid to top that best time again at 57.14secs, the Briton was delighted to claim gold and promised to keep learning ahead of Tokyo 2020.

“I had to be a better version of myself,” he said. “Unfortunately, I made a tiny little mistake on that first length, trying to force the speed a bit too much.

 

“But the most important lesson is I’m still learning. It’s not like I’ve gone 56 [seconds] and never have to learn again.

“I’m always learning, always trying to improve and that’s the most important thing we can have going into the Olympics next year.”

Dressel is hoping to top his 2017 tally of seven golds and he made it two from two in 2019 as he won the 50m butterfly – a title that had proved elusive two years earlier.

“It seems to not have that same pressure on it,” he said after swimming 22.35 to beat Oleg Kostin.

Teenager Maggie MacNeil earned Canada’s first gold of the championships, the 19-year-old winning the women’s 100m butterfly ahead of Sarah Sjostrom.

The day’s other final saw Katinka Hosszu triumph in the 200m medley for the fourth consecutive championship.

 

Meanwhile, fallout from Sunday’s men’s 400m freestyle final continued, with Mack Horton handed an official written warning for his podium protest.

Horton took silver but refused to join champion Sun Yang on the steps.

The Chinese is the subject of an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with WADA questioning a decision by swimming’s global governing body FINA not to punish Sun over allegations stemming from a visit by out-of-competition testers in September 2018.

Sun denies all wrongdoing and has requested a public hearing, yet Horton’s refusal to congratulate his rival apparently proved popular with other swimmers, who reportedly applauded him.

A FINA statement on Monday read: “The FINA executive met in Gwangju to analyse the situation related with the men’s 400m free victory ceremony and has decided to send a warning letter to Swimming Australia Ltd and to athlete Mack Horton.

“While FINA respects the principle of freedom of speech, it has to be conducted in the right context.

“As in all major sports organisations, our athletes and their entourages are aware of their responsibilities to respect FINA regulations and not use FINA events to make personal statements or gestures.

“The matter over which Mack Horton was allegedly protesting is currently under review by CAS and therefore it is not appropriate for FINA to prejudice this hearing by commenting further.”

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