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SIDEBAR Peaty aims to inspire next generation on Olympic debut

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - While some swimmers ease through early heats aiming to save energy for later rounds, Britain‘s Adam Peaty smashed his way to a sensational world record in his first-ever Olympic swim he hopes can inspire others.

"No one can describe what that‘s like until you‘ve been in there," Peaty said after lowering his own 100-metre breaststroke world record to 57.55 seconds on Saturday. "I‘m absolutely amazed just to race and be (up) against the best in the world.

"At the end of the day I want to inspire, there‘s thousands upon millions of kids out there who want to take up sport. It doesn‘t matter what country you‘re from, you can.

"I‘ve worked hard every single day ... hopefully those kids watching these Games, that‘s going to be their (inspirational) moment that I had four years ago (and) actually put the hard work in for the next Olympics."

Peaty shaved 0.35 seconds off the world record he set last year and believes he is capable of going even faster.

"I just raced today and did what I did.

"Hopefully tonight (in the semi-finals) we (he and coach Mel Marshall) are going to move it on a little bit more and see what we‘ve got," he said.

Peaty is only 21 but has been the dominant breaststroke sprinter of the past years having won both the 50m and 100m titles at the Kazan worlds in 2015.

However, as the 50m is not an Olympic distance in his discipline, the 100m represents his only chance of an individual title in Rio. To claim the gold, he will have to dethrone South Africa‘s Cameron Van der Burgh, who showed little interest in laying an early marker.

In a complete contrast of approach, the 2012 champion swam a leisurely 59.35 to progress to the semi-finals in seventh.

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