• Reuters

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Rio-bound world champion Adam Peaty gave Britain its first swimming gold of the European aquatics championships on Tuesday with the fastest time of the year in the 100 meters breaststroke.

The 21-year-old world record holder, still in hard training and unshaven, then went back into the pool and did it again to help the hosts end the night with another gold in the non-Olympic 4×100-meter mixed medley relay.

While Peaty’s time of 58.36 seconds was well off his 2015 record of 57.92, it was quicker than he had expected given that he was treating the event as a training exercise.

“I’m in one of the hardest training blocks but I can still produce a 58.3 or 58.6 on demand,” he said. “That’s a good sign for me.”

Peaty will make his Olympic debut in Rio in August as Britain’s hottest prospect in the pool. He does not lack confidence.

“It is going to be a good race in Rio because Britain is looking in a very strong place,” he said. “I don’t shiver in the pressure, I thrive in the arena so come Rio we can hopefully nail it.”

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