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Swimming: Peaty swims under 57secs to smash breaststroke WR

Swimming - 18th FINA World Swimming Championships - Men's 100m Breaststroke Semi-Finals - Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, South Korea - July 21, 2019. Adam Peaty of Britain competes. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

GWANGJU, South Korea (Reuters) - Britain’s Adam Peaty became the first to swim the 100 meters breaststroke in under 57 seconds on Sunday, setting a world record of 56.88 in the semi-finals of the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

The Olympic champion, who is unbeaten in the event over the last five years at major championships, lowered his own mark of 57.10 set in Glasgow last year.

Peaty blasted off the blocks and brought a huge roar from the crowd when his 50 meter split time of 26.63 showed he was on course for the record.

“There’s no other word except for ‘incredible’,” he said. “Obviously I’ve been chasing that for three years now, ever since I touched that wall in Rio (in 2016) I was like, I could go faster.”

The 24-year-old, who pushed closer and closer to the 57-seconds mark over the last couple of years as he tried to fulfill ‘Project 56’, will look to pick up his third straight gold medal in the event in Monday’s final.

Reporting by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Pritha Sarkar