When you’re heading onto an Olympic games as probably one of your county’s best hopes of a gold medal, the pressure is undoubtedly intense. But in the case of Adam Peaty it’s a pressure he carries lightly on his not inconsiderable shoulders. With a shrug of those he remarks “I perform better under pressure, I perform better in the great atmosphere, and when the crowd is cheering your name I perform 100% better.”
The men’s 50m freestyle is the testosterone zone of the swimming world; big men attempting to assert their dominance over the others in what can be almost a lottery of an event. It’s not an approach that sits comfortably with the relatively mild mannered Ben Proud who is happy just to be himself.
If there were medals for consistency than you would do well not to look too further than the career record of Andrew Willis. Since making his senior international debut at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he has contested the final of the 200m breaststroke at every international meet he has attended both long and short course, including two fourth places at the World Championships. But he’s after more in Rio.