R Gold Coast, March 30 (AFP) England’s powerhouse Adam Peaty will expect to extend his winning streak and could even test his breaststroke world records when he stars alongside a strong Australian team at the Commonwealth Games.

Peaty, 23, the Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion, headlines the swimming programme in the outdoor Southport Aquatic Centre, where he will put his near four-year unbeaten record on the line.

The 50m and 100m breaststroke world record-holder will be the hot favourite to add to the two gold medals he won in Glasgow four years ago in his first major success.

Peaty will also be attempting to become the first to go under the 57-second mark in the 100m after shattering his own world record with 57.13sec in winning Olympic gold at Rio two years ago.

“Hopefully I will get near my world records but I won’t be at a loss if I don’t because the Europeans (championships) are around the corner as well,” he said.

“This will hopefully be my fourth year undefeated so it is something to celebrate,” added Peaty, who was last beaten before the 2014 Games.

“I am looking forward to the competition and seeing who is popping out there. But at the same time it is a bit of fun.” While eyes will be on Peaty’s performances, the Australians are looking to continue their dominance in the pool at their home Commonwealth Games.

The Australians have topped the swimming medals table at every Games since they lost to hosts Canada at Edmonton in 1978, and are primed to continue that run on the Gold Coast.

– Mack attack –

===============

Australia will be spearheaded by Rio Olympic champions Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton, along with rejuvenated former world champion Cate Campbell.

Chalmers, who missed last year’s world championships in Budapest to have surgery to correct a heart problem, claimed the 100m-200m freestyle double at this month’s selection trials in the Games pool.

He won the 100m final in 48.16 secs — his fastest time since Rio, where he swam 47.58 secs to win gold — while he also swam a personal best to claim the 200m national title.

“It was the fastest I’ve been since the Olympics so now it’s get prepared for the Games and fingers crossed I can go a bit faster,” Chalmers said.

Campbell, who took a year off swimming last year after a disappointing Rio Olympics, set a national record in winning the 50m freestyle at the trials, and beat her sister Bronte in the 100m event.

It continued her strong form since returning to the pool after crashing out in Rio, where she was the 100m gold medal favourite but faded to sixth in the final.

She gets her chance at some redemption with a crack at Canada’s reigning Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak in front of her home fans.

“It’s great to go in knowing that you’ve been in really good form only a month earlier so it’s definitely a good confidence booster,” Campbell said.

Horton will be aiming for the 400m and 1500m freestyle double at the Gold Coast, and will also try to win back the Commonwealth Games 1500m crown for Australia.

Australia owned the 1500m title from 1950 to 2002, winning it 12 consecutive times before the 52-year winning streak was ended by Welshman David Davies in Melbourne in 2006.

Rising star Ariarne Titmus, 17, is another strong contender after becoming the first Australian woman in 14 years to win the distance freestyle treble — 200m, 400m and 800m at the trials.

The South African Games squad includes four-time Olympic butterfly medallist Chad le Clos and former breaststroke world record-holder Cameron van der Burgh. AFP BS 30031325

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.