Dominant Adlington qualifies fastest

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2nd August 2012

Rebecca Adlington began the defence of her Olympic 800m Freestyle title with a confident heat swim at London Aquatics Centre.

The 23-year old has gone on to win the Commonwealth and World titles since her triumph in Beijing and looked in control as she clocked 8:21.78 to comfortably win her heat.

I just put my head down and went for it - especially after only just scraping through the 400m heats.

Adlington’s time was the fifth fastest in the world this season, with the Brit also responsible for the first, second and fourth fastest times.

And having secured lane four for tomorrow night’s final, Adlington admitted she hadn't want to leave anything to chance, having qualified eighth fastest for the 400m Freestyle final earlier in the Games.

“I’m pleased with that,” said Adlington. “I didn’t know what time I was going at all during the race.

“So I just put my head down and went for it – especially after only just scraping through the 400m heats.

“I didn’t want to risk that again so I just put a lot into it this morning and made it through safely.

“So I’m pleased with the time. Obviously it’s going to be a battle tomorrow so I’ll see what I can get.”

Ellie Faulkner was also in action, the 19-year old competing in her first Olympic individual race.

It was a very hard swim but a great experience.

And while she missed out on a final spot with her time of 8:38.00, the teenager insisted she would take plenty of positives from her first major senior international.

“It was a very hard swim but great experience,” said Faulkner. “I did the best I possibly could today and obviously my time wasn’t quite there today.

“The crowd has been amazing. When you walk out there and hear them cheering for the British it’s great.”

Steph Proud and Lizzie Simmonds both booked themselves a second swim at the Games, progressing to tonight's 200m Backstroke semi-finals.

Competing at her first Games, Proud pushed hard down the back 50m to touch in 2:10.01 and qualify 11th fastest while Simmonds progressed 14th fastest with her effort of 2:10.37.

“I treated it like it was my final this morning and tonight’s I’m going to do the same,” said Proud.

“There’s no reason why I can’t get into that final – I’m going to have to go a lot faster but I’ll give it a go."

Adam Brown narrowly missed out on the 50m Freestyle semis as he finished 20th.

It was around my season's best so I can't complain about swimming in front of a massive crowd cheering for me.

The Brit touched just 0.03 seconds down on his season’s best in 22.39 but found himself 0.12 shy of the semi-final places.

“I thought the swim itself was going really well,” said Brown. “But I think I glided into the finish which cost me a few tenths and in the 50m that’s the difference between making a semi-final and not.

“So I’m a bit gutted but that was right around my season’s best so I can’t really complain about swimming in front of a massive crowd cheering for me.”

Michael Rock and Antony James also missed out on the semis after their 100m Butterfly heats.

I'm not too pleased with the time - I felt I had a lot more to give.

British record holder Rock was the faster of the two, touching seventh in his heat in 52.56 to finish 24th overall.

“I’m not too pleased with that time,” said Rock. “I felt I had a lot more to give.

“I was in great confidence before this. I switched my focus to 100m after the Trials and had done some good sets so I thought I could bring it home.

“I thought I’d be a lot faster in that second 50m so I’ll have to go home and look at why that wasn’t the case this morning.”

Racing in the same heat as Beijing Olympics gold and silver medallists Michael Phelps and Milorad Cavic, James finished eighth in 53.25 and 31st overall.

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