Rebecca Adlington sure Adam Peaty can win Rio Olympics medal
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington is sure double Commonwealth Games champion Adam Peaty can win a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Adlington, who won medals at two Olympics, said the 19-year-old is already "among the best in the world".
"He's beaten records and has lots of room to improve. I 100% see him on the podium," she told BBC Radio Derby.
"If everything goes to plan I don't see why not."
As well as his hat-trick of medals, the teenager beat the Commonwealth record in the 100m breaststroke and the British record in the 50m breaststroke.
Adlington has been working as a mentor to Peaty and the two have a close relationship, as was shown when she cried with joy as the City of Derby swimmer won gold in the 100m breaststroke.
Now a pundit for BBC Sport, Adlington said Uttoxeter-born Peaty has a psychological and physical edge over his opponents.
"He's got the perfect build and he's got the mental strength and he works hard. At the qualifiers earlier in the year he swam a really good time and looked fantastic, but he was still disappointed because he's so hungry for success," she said.
"In the heats and the semi-final, Adam wasn't relaxing, he didn't think 'I'm going to back off'. He went out there and he put on a show."
Adlington described Peaty's coach, former Olympian Mel Marshall, as "perfect" for the job.
"They work so well together. They bounce off each other.
"It's a similar relationship I had with my coach Bill Furniss, how we started very young together. He brought me up through the ranks and got me to the swimmer I became."
Marshall told BBC Radio Derby: "It's been an absolutely brilliant week and it's still sinking in. As an athlete when you go through it, it is elation when you finish but as a coach it is more relief. Thank God we got the result we deserved.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the results but I am also pleased with how he has handled himself.
"He is a down-to-earth, really great guy. It is always about the swimming for Adam and that is what we have to keep it as. When it becomes about something else then you are in the wrong game.
"He loves racing and competing against people like Cameron van der Burgh and Ross Murdoch and that's what it should always be about."
Peaty, who lives in Uttoxeter, was also quick to praise his coach.
"She's great," he said. "She's been there and done it. I don't know where I would be without her."
There were calls to rename a Uttoxeter leisure centre after the young swimmer this week, to celebrate his Commonwealth success.
But, Peaty maintained that his focus is on Rio 2016.
|Adam Peaty's "proud" mum Caroline|
|"Our lives changed drastically when he went for some trials at City of Derby Swimming Club. Everything had to be around the training schedule. It was a struggle to start with, but he's got the rewards. I still don't know a lot about swimming. All I do is support my son, go to his open meets, support him with his diet and training. I don't go into the technical stuff but he seems to rise to the challenge of going against strong competitors, probably because he plays everything down. He doesn't get agitated; he's really cool."|
He said, "This is hopefully the start of something bigger. It's all about in two years' time. Thankfully all the training paid off and everything came together.
"But I like to keep expectations low. I'm just going to go and try the best for myself and my country."
Adlington believes the combination of his talent and drive means he has a wonderful chance of success.
"He doesn't like losing," Adlington said. "He has that really great passion about him.
"Adam thinks so long term, Rio is in his sights and fitting his plans perfectly. The only thing that can hinder him is if he gets ill or injured."