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Adam Peaty, breaststroke king, not on British swim team named for world championships

Adam Peaty

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 10: Adam Peaty competes in the heats of the Men’s 200m Breaststroke during The Edinburgh International Swim Meet at Royal Commonwealth Pool on March 10, 2023 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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Adam Peaty, a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder in the 100m breaststroke, was not named to the British team for July’s world swimming championships after missing a trials meet citing mental health.

Peaty announced on March 29 that he withdrew before the British Championships, saying he struggled with mental health for a few few years and that his focus was on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I’m tired, I’m not myself and I’m not enjoying the sport as I have done for the last decade,” Peaty posted on social media then. “Some might recognize it as burnout; I just know that over the last few years I haven’t had the answers that I’m looking for. With help, now I know how I can address the imbalance in my life.”

Peaty said then that he would continue to train and did not say whether he hoped to return for the world championships.

British selection policies for worlds do not mandate participating in the British Championships, which were last week. A British team of 29 swimmers for worlds was announced Wednesday without Peaty.

A message was sent to British Swimming on Wednesday morning asking if it’s still possible that swimmers can be added to the roster. The team already includes the top two men in the 100m breast from nationals, and a nation can enter no more than two per individual event at worlds.

Peaty, 28, also missed last year’s worlds due to a fractured bone in his foot.

He came back for the Commonwealth Games later last summer and took fourth in the 100m breast, his first major defeat in the event after winning every Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth Games title from his 2014 debut through 2021.

“Lack of training, lack of racing, it is what it is,” Peaty said then. “I’m a fighter. Sometimes you have got to have these moments to keep on fighting, really. … This is a huge moment for me, really, because it’s a part of my career now where you choose to go on or keep fighting or whatever. I know this is probably my last Commonwealth Games.”

He finished 2022 ranked fourth in the world in the 100m breast, an event in which he holds the 17 fastest times in history. His world record — 56.88 from 2019 Worlds — is .92 faster than the second-best performer in history.

In Peaty’s absence, Italian Nicolò Martinenghi won last year’s world title ahead of Olympic silver medalist Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands. American Nic Fink took bronze.

The British team for worlds is led by Olympic 200m freestyle champion Tom Dean and world 50m free champion Ben Proud.

Luke Greenbank, who won Olympic bronze and world silver in the 200m backstroke the last two years, was not named to the team Wednesday after finishing third in the 100m back and 200m back at nationals.

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