Great Britain and Katie Ledecky make more history in the pool at Tokyo 2020

Adam Peaty thrilled to be part of an 'incredible' success story

Great Britain's swim team continued their historic Tokyo Games by smashing the world record to win the inaugural Olympic 4x100m mixed medley relay on Saturday.

Britain have now won seven swimming medals in Tokyo, including four golds, two silvers and a bronze, matching their greatest ever medal haul at an Olympics, last achieved in 1908.

"It's incredible," said Adam Peaty, who is responsible for two of the gold medals following his earlier success in defending his Olympic title in the 100m breaststroke and could help Britain win an eighth medal in the men's 4x100m medley relay on Sunday.

"It's more inspiring to be part of this team than anything could ever be. British swimming has flipped over. We deliver the goods and get the plane flying but there is a whole orchestra of people behind it."

The four-strong mixed relay team of Kathleen Dawson, Peaty, James Guy and Anna Hopkin touched in 3min 37.58sec to break the previous world record of 3:38.41 set by China in Qingdao last year.

The Chinese were second in 3:38.86 and Australia third in 3:38.95. The Caeleb Dressel-led United States were relegated to fifth.

Dressel had earlier broken the world record to win his third sprint gold in the 100m butterfly but Britain's Hopkin was too far in front and she held off the American to secure victory.

"The guys got me such a great lead I knew I could stay ahead," Hopkin said. "It's cool to say I've killed Dressel! I didn't really look at where he was, I think that would have taken my focus away, but it's pretty cool to be in the same race as him."

Britain had their own superstar in Peaty, who took over the second leg in sixth but motored to put the team in contention.

"It's not about getting pumped up, it's about getting pumped down," Peaty said. "If I see someone ahead of me I see red mist and think I've gotta get them. For the first 50m it's about control and then off the wall it's about all the emotion, everything."

Swimming history has not been confined to Great Britain's achievements in Tokyo after Katie Ledecky booked her place in the Olympic record books with a sixth individual gold medal, making her the most decorated female swimmer of all time.

The American dominated the 800m freestyle final to win gold comfortably, beating the record for the most women's individual Olympic swimming titles held for a quarter of a century by Hungary's Krisztina Egerszegi.

Ledecky said the idea of already being a sporting legend had never entered her mind.

"I don't know if even my first Olympic gold has sunk in fully, nine years later, so I think once I eventually retire I'll probably more fully appreciate it all," she said.

"I'm just going to try and live in the moment, right now I think I've done a good job of that this week, taking it one day at a time, one race at a time.

"I've always been moving forward, driving forward ... I'll let this sit for a little bit longer."

The winner of 15 world titles said her sights were on the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and at just 24 years old, she isn't ready to rule out the Los Angeles Games four years after that.

"People are sticking around in the sport into their 30s and I still love this sport. I love it more and more every year. I feel like I'm going to give every ounce I have to the sport," Ledecky said.

"I'm just going to keep doing it until I feel like it's time. Obviously, like the Olympics in 2028 are in LA, so that's kind of out there and appealing."

Updated: July 31st 2021, 3:24 PM
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