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Peaty breaks 50 breast record; Ledecky sets up big night

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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — He's done it again.

Britain's Adam Peaty set a world record of 26.10 seconds in the preliminaries of the men's 50-meter breaststroke at the world championships on Tuesday.

Peaty, who won gold in the 100 breaststroke on Monday, shaved 0.32 of a second off the record he had previously set at the previous worlds in Kazan, Russia, two years ago.

"I was quite relaxed. I wasn't going out there this morning for a world record, just going out there to race and qualify for the semis," said the 22-year-old Briton, who added that it was "quite early (in the morning) for a world record. But I'm very happy with that swim."

Peaty is bidding to be the first man to retain the 50 breaststroke title at a worlds, and he wasn't surprised to beat his previous best-mark.

"That world record is two years old. It was kind of due another push on," said Peaty, still buzzing after Monday's gold. "Last night gave me the confidence. I was out in 26.5 and I was like, 'This is so easy.' I can definitely push on for a 50.' That didn't really feel like my best race."

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa was next fastest in the non-Olympic event, a significant 0.44 behind.

It's the second world record set at this year's championships after Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom established a split of 51.71 in the women's 4x100 free relay on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Olympic and world champion Katie Ledecky eased to victory in her heat of the women's 200 freestyle, clocking 1:56.27, two tenths of a second slower than world record holder Federica Pellegrini, who finished ahead of home favorite Katinka Hosszu in their heat.

"I knew where I wanted to be," Ledecky said. "The only thing I had to do this morning was get a lane for tonight. Just wanted to go out and win my heat. It didn't really matter what the time was. I knew that would put me in a good position for tonight."

Ledecky, who cruised to a dominating victory in the 400 free and put the U.S. ahead for gold in the 4x100 free relay on Sunday, is facing her most challenging day at the championships. She also has the 1,500 free final later, less than an hour before she returns for the 200 free semifinal.

The American star needs to get her times right outside of the pool, too.

"Just planning it all out, making sure I know where I'm going at all times," Ledecky said. "Lot going on when there's medal ceremonies and warmdown and getting to the ready room. Just all those little things. Try to limit the walking and stay off my feet as much as I can during that whole process."

Ledecky is pleased with the setup in terms of distance between pool, ready room and practice pool at the purpose-built Duna Arena.

"Yeah, it's pretty good. Just lining it all up beforehand and making sure I can get everywhere I need to go pretty quickly. It's pretty warm upstairs," Ledecky said. "Just tryin' to stay cool and manage it all really well."

Also, Hungary's Laszlo Cseh comfortably finished first in the men's 200 butterfly heat, enjoying the atmosphere among the enthusiastic home fans.


AP National Writer Paul Newberry contributed.

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