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LONDON — Britain's three-time Olympic champion Adam Peaty will not participate at next month's swimming world championships in Budapest after fracturing a bone in his foot, the 27-year-old said on Wednesday.
Peaty, an eight-time world champion and holder of the 50m and 100m breaststroke titles, said he suffered the injury in the gym this week and that he had been told to rest for six weeks, meaning he will miss the competition starting on June 18.
"I've fortunately never had to deal with an injury in my swimming career so this is a real blow and a new challenge for me. But I am surrounded by a superb team who will support and guide me through this period and get me to where I need to be," Peaty said in a statement posted on Twitter.
"I'm already in great hands and starting to recover but, honestly, I'm devastated. I work extremely hard and have dedicated my life to training so I can be the absolute best I can be in the pool.
"I was on track for a huge summer so, like when anything doesn't go according to plan, it's a really challenging time."
Peaty, who retained his 100m breaststroke title at the Tokyo Olympics last year, added he would concentrate on building his fitness for the Commonwealth Games which begin in July in Birmingham.
The Briton has won gold in the 100m and 50m breaststroke for the past three world championships so it will be the first time since 2013 that someone else will capture those titles.
He is among a number of swimmers not defending their titles in Hungary, through injury, suspension, retirement or just a decision to skip the competition, such as in the case of Australia's double Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus. That means 13 solo titles will be up for grabs.
Peaty said last month he had nothing to prove this year and that his main focus was the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Martyn Herman)