Adlington shines as six more qualify for Olympics
4 March 2012
Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington had the crowd on their feet with a world class performance in the final of the 400m Freestyle on the second day of the British Gas Swimming Championships in London.
She led the race from the first turn and after the 100m mark she held over a second lead and continued to dominate the final from there.
The race for the silver medal was on between Jackson and Faulkner. The City of Sheffield swimmer led Jackson until the 150m mark and then the Olympic bronze medallist began to power through and moved into second place.
Adlington touched in a time of 4:02.35 and Jackson secured a time of 4:06.47 meaning both athletes met the selection criteria for the Olympic Games.
“I have so much relief and happiness right now,” Adlington said. “I was crying my eyes out. Me and Joanne have been through so much together, through four years of training and I missed her last year.
I have so much relief and happiness right now - Rebecca Adlington
“The Olympics here will be the biggest thing I will experience. Now that I’m going it is the best feeling in the world. Of course there were nerves. The atmosphere was fantastic and everyone in the pool was feeling the pressure. It’s an unbelievable venue and it was so nice to have my family in the stands.
“I am definitely reminded of Beijing and to be here with Jo is extra special. I am so happy and a bit too emotional. So many months preparing, four years, you can’t imagine how good it feels. I wasn’t even bothered about the time I just wanted to win.”
Jackson added: “I’m so relieved. I haven’t had the best few years. I was gutted to have missed out last year at the World Championships. I put my heart and soul into this. Last year I didn’t make it but I’m so excited to be coming back in four months time. I now have a smile on my face which I haven’t had in a while. It was all about making the team and the last 50m I put everything into it.”
Faulkner won bronze in 4:07.25 to set a new personal best time.
The second day of competition began with the tight final and it was Halsall who took the race out fastest from the start.
The European silver medallist led to the first 50m but Gandy’s back end speed just caught up with Halsall as she took the victory on the touch to meet the Olympic qualification criteria.
Gandy lowered the British record to 57.25 and commented: “It’s the greatest feeling I’ve ever had. I’ve wanted to do it for the last four years to be able to say I’m going to the London Olympic Games and now I can say it – I’m just over the moon.
“To be honest the time was a bit irrelevant to me because I really wanted to make the team but I’m thrilled that I got the British record. I think Fran was beating me most of the way but I think my 200 training helped me down that last 25m.”
To be honest the time was irrelevant to me because I really wanted to make the team - Ellen Gandy
Halsall won the silver in 57.56 as both athletes swam under the Olympic qualification time. Jemma Lowe won the bronze in 58.06.
Daniel Sliwinski made his Olympic intentions known by swimming under the Olympic qualification standard in the 100m Breaststroke.
The British Gas ITC Stockport swimmer took the race out hard from the start and got to the turn in first place, almost a second quicker than the rest of the field.
Sliwinski held on to set a new personal best time of 1:00.09.
“It’s been three years,” Sliwinski said. “I just got my way back from injury. I want to thank everyone and show them they were supporting me for a reason. I’ve not done anything for people in the last three years and it was good to be able to thank them with that swim.”
Warrender’s Craig Benson stormed through his second 50m to set a time for the second qualification spot after touching in 1:00.47. The bronze medal went to Michael Jamieson in a time of 1:00.50.
Back-to-back World Champion Liam Tancock will go in lane four in the final of the men’s 100m Backstroke after securing the fastest time in the semi final of 54.47. Chris Walker-Hebborn will follow Tancock into the final after touching in a time of 54.82.
After swimming under the Olympic qualification time in the 400m Freestyle on the first day of competition, Robbie Renwick was back in the pool in the 200m Freestyle semi final and will lead the way into the final with a time of 1:47.25.
Ieuan Lloyd qualified second fastest for the final with a new personal best time of 1:47.84. Robert Bale was third fastest with a time of 1:48.39.
The 100m Breaststroke final will see Sophie Allen in lane four after putting in a storming performance in the second semi final. She touched just ahead of Kate Haywood in a time of 1:08.44. Haywood secured 1:08.46 to qualify in second place with Kerry Buchan ranked in third place with 1:09.16.