One of the biggest shocks at the Commonwealth Games has blown away Aussie legend Ian Thorpe.
The men’s 100m breaststroke final at the Sandwell Aquatic Centre in Birmingham on Monday morning became firefight that few saw coming.
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It was supposed to be a showdown between English Olympic goliath Adam Peaty and Aussie 200m breaststroke Olympic gold medallist Zac Stubblety-Cook. But nobody told England’s James Wilby.
Peaty, who qualified fastest for the final despite an ongoing recovery from a foot injury, was ahead with 25m to go, but he incredibly fell apart in the final lunge to the wall.
With Stubblety-Cook and fellow Australian Sam Williamson exploding to the wall, Peaty suddenly went from the gold medal position to missing out on the podium completely.
The shock result was written all over Wilby’s face as he realised he’d won the gold medal.
Peaty, a three-time Olympic champion is not used to losing — and Thorpe is not used to watching him lose.
The world record holder had been undefeated in the 100m breaststroke at major meets since 2015.
“It is shocking,” Thorpe said in commentary for Channel 7.
A Seven colleague said “I cannot believe this” while caller Basil Zempilas added: “Oh my goodness … unbelievable that Peaty, who led at the halfway (mark), has not finished in the top three.”
A BBC commentator also described Peaty’s disappearance as “astonishing”.
Wilby hit the wall in 59.25 seconds, just 0.27 seconds ahead of Stubblety-Cook. Peaty missed out on the bronze to Williamson by 0.04 seconds.
The crowd, who roared for Peaty when he made his way to the starting blocks, was left stunned.
“When it comes down to the race sometimes it doesn’t go to plan,” Peaty said.
“I was hurting from the 50m but you know that’s a lack of training, lack of racing.”
He added: “I can’t overthink it. I’m a fighter and sometimes you have got to have these moments to keep fighting.”
The 27-year-old said the Paris Olympics in 2024 were firmly on his radar.
“The next two years are going to be huge — how we attack that now, I don’t know,” he said. “Because I haven’t done two winter blocks in a long time so it’s back to the drawing board and back to training.”
Originally published as ‘It is shocking’: Ian Thorpe stunned by Commonwealth Games boilover