Adlington scoops second medal of London 2012
3rd August 2012
Rebecca Adlington scooped her second medal of London 2012 and the fourth Olympic medal of her career with 800m Freestyle bronze at the Aquatics Centre.
Defending her Olympic title, Adlington was tasked with a draining pursuit of USA’s 15-year old breakaway leader Katie Ledecky and ultimately touched home in 8:20.32 to become the first British swimmer to collect four individual Olympic medals
I’ve been in four Olympic Games finals and got four medals – that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Ledecky won gold in 8:14.63 - more than half a second down on Adlington's world and Olympic record from 2008 - while Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia came through in the last 100m to claim silver in 8:18.76.
But having won 400m Freestyle bronze earlier in the week, Adlington held on to repeat the feat over twice the difference.
At 23-years old, Adlington would have been the oldest person to win the Olympic 800m Freestyle crown and the world and Commonwealth champion admitted she couldn't have given any more on the night.
"I’m not disappointed to get a bronze medal – it’s nothing to ever, ever be ashamed of," said Adlington.
"Everyone expected me to get a gold tonight but I am so proud to say I’m third fastest at the Olympic Games today.
"I’ve been in four Olympic Games finals and got four medals – that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
"I’m more disappointed in the time – I’ve swam faster all year so I don’t know why it wasn’t quite there so I’ll go back and evaluate with with my coach but at the end of the day I hope people can see I gave it my absolute all."
Lizzie Simmonds was Team GB’s other finalist on the penultimate night in London and finished fourth in her second consecutive Olympic 200m Backstroke final.
The result is pretty bittersweet I guess - it's fantastic to be back down doing decent times though.
Great Britain have never won an Olympic medal over 200m Backstroke and Simmonds came closer than anyone has, touching just 0.71 shy of USA’s bronze medallist Elizabeth Beisel.
The 21-year old has been unerringly consistent in her favourite 200m Backstroke over the past five years, reaching the World final in 2007, 2009 and 2011 as well as the Olympic final four years ago.
And while Simmonds’ performance in London was her best result of the lot, she admitted it felt like the worst place to finish on the night.
“The result is pretty bittersweet I guess,” said Simmonds. “It’s fantastic to get back down to doing decent times and being in there with the race.
"I didn’t have any other option than to try and race it from the edge of the pool but I think coming fourth is probably the worst position.
“Most of the time during that race I didn’t really know where I was. I was just focusing on beating the people closest to me.
“Maybe it would have been a little bit different a couple of lanes over but I’ve got absolutely no regrets from this meet. Walking out and hearing the crowd and knowing they were all cheering for me – it’s been a fantastic experience.”
Fran Halsall closed the night in style for the Brits, booking her second individual final berth of the Games in the 50m Freestyle.
I've done it here before on the last night at Trials so I'll be looking to do it again.
Having finished sixth in the 100m Free final earlier in the meet, the British record is determined to go better over half the distance and clocked 24.63 to progress fifth fastest for tomorrow night’s final.
And with the prospect of a second final in the 4x100m Medley Relay also to look forward to in tomorrow’s final swimming session of London 2012, Halsall vowed she would do all she can to finish the competition with a bang.
"I'm happy - I'm in the final and that was all I needed to do tonight," said Halsall.
"I'm all in for a gun-fight tomorrow night and we need to create some magic.
"I've done it here before on the last night at Trials so I'll be looking to do it again."
After qualifying for the semis through a swim-off after touching joint 16th in the heats, Amy Smith improved her ranking to ninth with another impressive swim.
The 50m is always close - it's a case of who has got the longest fingernails.
The Olympic newcomer was just 0.07 off her personal best as she touched in 24.87 - only the third time she has ducked under 25 seconds in her career.
Smith was ultimately 0.17 seconds off a final spot as Sweden's world champion Therese Alshammar beat her to the touch.
"The 50m is always close," said Smith. "It's a case of who has got the longest fingernails.
"Unfortunately it wasn't my touch on the day but I've moved up a lot since I got in here and I had to do a swim-off to move through the last round.
"So I'm happy with that. It's where I was this morning. It was a good time but obviously ninth is one of the most frustrating places to finish."