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Adam Peaty: ‘My barber was right, I’m world champion. What am I scared of?’

Britain’s big hope for Olympic gold in the 100m breaststroke has moments of doubt despite being world and European champion

Adam Peaty was in his barber’s chair in Uttoxeter when a brief flurry of doubt gripped him. The 21-year-old normally exudes the self-belief befitting a three-times world champion who has swum six of the 10 fastest 100m breaststroke times in history and is arguably Britain’s most likely winner of a gold medal at the Rio Olympics. It would be wrong to call the cheerful Peaty cocky for he talks with a light and often humorous tone even when it is obvious that conviction surges through him. But Peaty is also interesting in his honest admission that he also suffers from occasional dips of uncertainty.

“The last one I had was just before the national trials in April and I was having my hair cut,” he says. “I’ve been going to the same barber the last few years and we have great chats whenever I’m in the chair. He’ll ask: ‘How you doing? How’s the training going?’ Just ordinary obvious things but then, like you do with your barber, you start talking about personal stuff.”

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