Adam Peaty has described giving his gold medal to a young fan over the weekend as something he did on the spur of the moment to show his appreciation for the support he receives.
The 22-year-old Olympic and world champion claimed the medal on Saturday as he won his first major short-course title in the 100 metres breaststroke at the European Championships in Copenhagen.
Peaty, who set a new European record of 55.94 seconds, subsequently surprised a young girl in the crowd by handing the medal over to her, as well as signing it.
And when asked about that at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, Peaty told Press Association Sport: “She loved it. On the spur of the moment I was like ‘these kids have come all this way, shown the GB flag’.
“I think that kid actually came from Malaysia to watch me and Ben Proud swim.
“So you want to give something back to your fans and people who make that extra effort for you and come to support you.
“I saw her and I was just like ‘I don’t really need this’. I’d done the win, got the record, and that is enough for me.
“So to give the medal away to someone – that is hopefully going to change her complete perspective on training.”
Peaty, who also gave a gold medal he had just won to a youngster in the crowd at the British Championships in Sheffield in April, came fifth in the SPOTY awards on Sunday.
July’s World Championships in Budapest saw him defend his 100m and 50m breaststroke titles and break his own world record twice in the shorter event as he became the first man to swim the distance in under 26 seconds.
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