Classy Adlington excels in London final
9 March 2012
Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington demonstrated her world class talent in the final of the women’s 800m Freestyle on the penultimate day of the British Gas Swimming Championships.
Adlington dominated her main event to take her second British title of the week with a swim that saw her win with almost a 10 second lead.
The world record holder was turning within the record splits for the opening stages of her race but began to fall off the pace as the race moved on.
Adlington touched in a time of 8:18.54 – the third fastest time for a British swimmer.
“I am so pleased,” Adlington said. “The 800m is the one I love the most and I wanted to do well tonight. I didn’t have a target, I just wanted to qualify. Everyone’s dream is to go to a home Olympics.
“I am going to keep working hard so that I am ready for the summer. I will sit down with my coach and discuss what the plan is. We didn’t even discuss what happens after this week. I don’t know what’s next. Everyone is wanting to improve, so game on. It’s just about making sure we stay injury and illness free.
“It is so great to come out and hear the cheers, I have never had that before. Swimming here is a nice warm up for us. It is good to be familiar with the pool and we have that now.”
The silver medal was won by 19-year old Eleanor Faulkner who touched in a personal best time of 8:27.11 to take her first individual Olympic nomination time.
The bronze went to world 10km open water champion Keri-anne Payne in 8:34.12.
Elizabeth Simmonds put the disappointment of missing the top two places in the 100m Backstroke behind her to swim under the Olympic qualification standard in the 200m Backstroke.
I've burned up a lot of energy this week due to nerves - Lizzie Simmonds
The European Champion commanded the start of the race to take the lead before the first turn.
Simmonds fought off the challenge of defending champion Stephanie Proud to take the gold medal in a time of 2:08.67.
“It’s a massive relief,” Simmonds said. “There’s a lot of things I can improve on in that race. I’ve burned up a lot of energy this week due to nerves.
“To have to wait until almost the last race of the trials to make it is tough. It was about me going in and having a blast, that’s when I swim my best. That’s what I need to do. I know that’s what works for me and what I have to do in the future.”
Proud took silver just outside of the qualification standard in 2:09.94. The bronze went to Karley Mann in a time of 2:10.57.
British Gas ITC Stockport’s Michael Rock swam to victory in the men’s 100m Butterfly as he secured his first Olympic nomination time of the week.
Rock turned in second place behind Jack Marriott but fought through the final 50m to take his gold medal in a time of 52.02.
It's been really important to regain my focus and to make the team tonight - Michael Rock
“That’s a big sigh of relief,” Rock said. “I have had a disappointing couple of days so it’s been really important to regain my focus and have this wonderful opportunity to make the team tonight.
“There was extra pressure tonight because I didn’t produce a good enough performance in the 200m.”
Marriott took the silver in a personal best time of 52.49 and the bronze was taken by Antony James in 52.59.
The men’s 50m Freestyle saw Adam Brown swim to the gold medal in a time of 22.48 but just miss out on the Olympic qualification time.
The silver was won by Craig Gibbons in 22.56 and the bronze went to Simon Burnett after finishing in 22.59.
Fran Halsall claimed lane four in the 50m Freestyle after qualifying fastest overall from the semi finals. Halsall touched in 24.63 to beat her season’s best time.
Amy Smith will follow Halsall into the final after her personal best effort of 25.05.