Adlington seals London 2012 medal
29th July 2012
Rebecca Adlington won Team GB’s first swimming medal of the 2012 Olympic Games as she stormed to 400m Freestyle bronze in London.
The defending Olympic champion was swimming in lane eight, having won her morning heat but qualified as eighth fastest.
The crowd was so overwhelming - there have been 12 years of hard work going in to that.
France’s Camille Muffat (4:01.75) and USA’s Allison Schmitt (4:01.77) took the race out from the middle lanes to take gold and silver respectively.
But Adlington dug deep, spurred on by the partisan crowd, and came through in the final 100m to clinch her third Olympic medal, touching in 4:03.01 - 0.21 seconds faster than her gold medal winning time from Beijing four years ago.
And the 23-year old admitted the crowd had played no small part in her achievement.
“I’m so relieved,” said Adlington. “The crowd was so overwhelming.
“There have been 12 years of hard work going in to that. The 400 has always felt tougher than the 800 for me and I couldn’t see where I was coming in the race.
“Not many people can say they’ve got a medal at a home Games.
“The crowd was just unbelievable. This is what I wanted and it’s what gets us to the medals.”
Ellen Gandy was the second British finalist on the night, competing in her first Olympic final over 100m Butterfly.
I definitely feel the 200m Butterfly is my strength so I can't wait to get stuck into that now.
A world silver medallist over her preferred 200m Fly, the 20-year old ultimately finished eighth from lane one in 57.76.
USA’s Dana Vollmer took gold in a world record 55.98 ahead of China’s Lu Ying and Australia’s Alicia Coutts.
And Gandy insisted having three swims early in the meet was the perfect preparation for her 200m Butterfly challenge.
“I’ll move on and push myself on for the 200m now,” said Gandy.
“I definitely feel that’s my strength right now so I can’t wait to get stuck into that now.
“I’d like to have gone a bit faster but that was an amazing swim from Dana Vollmer and it was great to be a part of that.”
Liam Tancock will take part in day three’s 100m Backstroke final after impressing to qualify third fastest from the semi-finals.
I've made it through to the final and hopefully I can find a few tenths of a second for tomorrow night.
The Commonwealth champion – who finished sixth in the 100m Back final at the Beijing Games four years ago – paced his race well to touch in 53.25.
“I’m really pleased with that,” said Tancock. “It was a tough first race of the Olympics this morning but the support really makes a difference.
“I’ve made it through to the final and hopefully I can find a few tenths of a second for tomorrow night.”
Robbie Renwick booked a 200m Freestyle final spot for the second consecutive Games with a confident performance in his semi-final.
I know I've got a lot faster in me - I'll give it a good go tomorrow.
The Commonwealth champion was swimming in between world record holder Paul Biedermann and world champion Ryan Lochte but held his own to clock 1:46.65 – his fastest time since 2009.
And after progressing in joint sixth to tomorrow night’s final, Renwick insisted he was feeling in shape to close in on his 1:45.99 British record.
“I tried to swim my own race there and to do everything to get in to the final,” said Renwick.
“I know I’ve got a lot faster in me. I’ll give it a good go tomorrow.
“There are a couple of key guys who can push it up for the final. But I don’t feel that tired right now so I know I can go 1:45 which is my British record and that would be fantastic.”
Gemma Spofforth will be the third British individual finalist tomorrow night after setting her fastest 100m Backstroke time for two years to progress from the semi-finals.
That's what I came here for - to make the final.
The world record holder powered home in the back 50m to touch the wall in 59.70 and qualify sixth fastest.
“I’m much happier with that,” said Spofforth, who had qualified 12th fastest from the heats.
“I got the crowd behind me tonight rather than getting overawed by it all.
“That’s what I came here for – to make the final. I’m just enjoying everything as it comes right now.”
Welsh record holder Georgia Davies had also beaten the minute mark to qualify for the semi-finals.
And after finishing 15th from the heats in 1:00.66, the 21-year old admitted she hadn’t had enough left in the tank after a draining morning swim.
“This morning I just gave it everything I had to try and make it through,” said Davies.
“Perhaps this morning I gave it so much so I didn’t have much left tonight but I’m really pleased for Gemma to make it through.”