ADAM PEATY demonstrated exactly why he is considered one of the world’s greatest athletes with his 100m breaststroke victory at the British Swimming Championships in Edinburgh last night.

The Englishman was head and shoulders above the rest of the field, taking gold in 58.78 seconds ahead of his compatriot James Wilby who finished in second place in 1 minute 0.05 seconds, with Ross Murdoch third in 1 minute 1.26 seconds.

Peaty is the current Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion and also owns the ten fastest times ever in the 100m breaststroke. He may not quite have hit the heights of those world best times last night but in producing his season’s best swim at this event, which is doubling up as the Edinburgh International Swim Meet, he showed everyone what a class act he is in what is his final competitive outing before he attempts to successfully defend his Commonwealth title in Gold Coast in just five weeks time.

The 23-year-old is in the midst of a heavy training block and so is confident that come Gold Coast, he will be in fine shape. “I’m in very good form - this is my first proper meet of my season so I’m feeling good,” the Loughborough swimmer said.

“I’ve probably missed a few meets that I should have been at but this season is all about longevity because going into 2019, I want to perform at the Worlds and I want to perform in Tokyo in 2020. So it’s all about getting nice hits, train a bit, rest a bit and then going for the Commies. This season I don’t see it as much of a target, I see it as more of a stepping-stone.”

Peaty was unequivocal though about the fact that he is going for gold in Gold Coast. “Always, that’s always the goal,” he said, while at the same time admitting that a new world record is by no means out of the question.

“Possibly a world record - if I can get my muscle mass down a little bit and get my fat down a little bit more, even though that might sounds silly but there is still a little bit more to strip so when I come to taper, I’ll be looking to go fast.

“I never go into a race looking for silver, I never see the point in that. That’s not me and I’m going into races looking for a world record every single time. Whether I get that world record at Commies, 2019 or 2020, it’s going to come.”

Peaty has transformed himself over the past four years from someone who was barely known outwith the swimming world into a global star. With that comes pressure but rather than the Englishman feeling burdened by the increased expectation, he relishes it. “I can’t race without that pressure,” he said.

“The more pressure that’s on me, the more I perform. Going into that race tonight, everyone is looking for that sub-58 seconds - but that’s what is. I’m not one to fold under pressure - I’ve proven that in Rio, I’ve proven that numerous times and going into Commies, I couldn’t be in a better place.”

Peaty has had a number of battles in the water with Murdoch over the past few years and the Englishman admits that he hopes to have another in Gold Coast. Come Commonwealth Games, the pair will be representing England and Scotland respectively but there will be no needle says Peaty. “I’ve raced Ross since we were juniors,” he said.

“You build a camaraderie and it’s great to race him. Going into Commies, maybe we can get a 1-2 but you never know what’s going to happen.

“We’re still all British though and I’ll still be wishing him luck before we go out to race.”

Murdoch himself admitted that he was delighted to follow up Thursday evening’s 200m breaststroke silver medal with bronze last night and he is, he feels, getting sharper day by day as the Commonwealth Games edge closer. “I’m happy with that,” he said of his third place finish.

“As we’re moving through the meet, I’ve been feeling that little bit sharper. My start tonight was mint so I’m really happy with how that one went. And once I’ve had a shave, I’ll be a different man.”