Adlington seals final spot

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29th July 2012

Rebecca Adlington will defend the first of her Olympic titles on day two at the London 2012 Olympic Games after booking her spot in the 400m Freestyle final.

The Commonwealth champion swam a body length clear for the final three quarters of her heat, ultimately touching home in 4:05.75.

I thought it felt faster than it was but you just don't know being the first heat of the seeded heats.

Adlington’s time saw her progress through eighth fastest for the final but the 23-year old won’t complain about an outside lane, having won silver at last year’s World Championships from lane one.

And she admitted swimming out on her own in the first of the seeded heats meant it was difficult to judge her pace in the race.

“I thought it felt faster than it was but you just don’t know being the first heat of the seeded heats,” said Adlington.

“I just had to go for it. I had no other option.”

Adlington’s Team GB teammate Joanne Jackson competed in the same heat and came home in 4:11.50 – finshing 21st overall.

World 50m Backstroke champion Liam Tancock cruised through to the 100m Backstroke semi-finals after finishing second in his heat.

The crowd definitely helped me down that last 25m – we’re loving the support here.

Tancock led the race out before being pipped to the wall by 100m Back world record holder Camille Lacourt, the Brit eventually touching in 53.86.

“I’m pleased with that morning swim and I’m looking forward to being back in tonight,” said Tancock.

“I’ll get back, have a rest and a massage, a bit of food then I’ll be back and ready for tonight.

“The crowd definitely helped me down that last 25m – we’re loving the support here.”

Chris Walker-Hebborn was also in action in the 100m Backstroke heats.

While he prefers the 200m Back, the Olympic debutant produced a solid morning swim of 54.76, touching third in heat and finishing 20th overall.

Georgia Davies and Gemma Spofforth secured their 100m Backstroke semi-final spots in impressive style to kickstart the morning session on day two.

Olympic debutante Davies was the first Brit in the water and drew raptures from the British crowd as she ducked under the minute mark to touch second in her heat in 59.92 and progress sixth fastest overall.

To be so close to my personal best time and hearing the crowd the whole way through was brilliant.

Davies’ time was her fastest in an individual 100m Backstroke race and only 0.3 seconds shy of her Welsh record, set in the opening 100m in a 200m Backstroke race last season.

“That felt incredible,” said Davies. “It was my first Olympic experience and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

“I just wanted to make it through to the semis so to be close to my personal best time and hearing the crowd the whole way through was brilliant.”

World record holder Spofforth – who finished fourth at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing – progressed in 12th, clocking her fastest time since 2010 as she touched in 1:00.05 to finish fourth in her heat.

Robbie Renwick progressed to his second consecutive finals session with an impressive performance in the 200m Freestyle heats.

The Commonwealth champion – who reached the Olympic final four years ago – clocked his fastest time since 2009 with a 1:46.86 effort to progress sixth fastest overall.

“I’d quite like to get used to that,” said Renwick, after beating world record holder Paul Biedermann in the heats for the second consecutive day.

“I want to take down a couple more and get into that final.

“It’s tremendous having home crowd there and you have to use it to your advantage. What I really want to do is get into the final again.

“I had to pick myself up after being a bit disappointed yesterday so hopefully I can go and swim well again tonight.”

Welsh teenager Ieuan Lloyd finished 19th after the heats, touching in 1:48.52.

Having watched Team GB’s oldest swimmer David Carry make a final on the opening day, the youngest swimmer in the British team, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor was in action on day two.

The 16-year old impressed in her first Olympic appearance, holding her own in the final seeded heat to finish in 1:08.32 – the second fastest time of her young career.

And after finishing 21st overall, the teenager admitted she hoped she’d done enough to secure a second swim in the 4x100m Medley Relay.

“I wanted to just see how fast I could go and see if I could post a time for the relay so hopefully I’ve done that,” said O’Connor.

“At the moment it’s been so fun and such an amazing experience so far. Maybe when I look back on it, it will feel a bit more real.

“It’s been the best experience ever and it’s only day two.”

Kate Haywood was also in action in the 100m Breaststroke heats, finishing 29th overall after clocking 1:09.22.

The British men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay quartet took to the water in the final event of the session but couldn’t secure a final place after finishing 11th.

Simon Burnett, Grant Turner, James Disney-May and Craig Gibbons ultimately came home in 3:17.08 with Italy the eighth-placed qualifiers in 3:15.78.

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