Rebecca Adlington scoops 400m Freestyle silver in Shanghai
24 July 2011
Rebecca Adlington opened the British Gas GBR Swimming Team’s account in the pool at the World Championships, winning 400m Freestyle silver in Shanghai.
Having qualified seventh fastest, the Olympic champion turned out a gutsy performance from lane one, eventually touching in 4:04.01 for her medal.
I'm so pleased with that swim after this morning - I was quite down after my heat but that was so much more positive tonight.
Italy’s defending champion Federica Pellegrini stormed clear to win in 4:01.97 but Adlington was never out of the medal mix, turning 0.39 off the pace in second at the half way point.
And after turning in third with 100m remaining, Adlington powered home to touch ahead of France’s bronze medallist Camille Muffat (4:04.06) for the best World Championship medal of her career so far.
"I'm so pleased with that swim after this morning," said Adlington. "I was quite down after my heat as I didn't expect to swim so slowly but I picked myself up and that was so much more positive tonight.
"I tried to stay with Kylie Palmer and from my outside lane didn't really see anyone else.
"I saw a pair of feet in the distance, figured it was Pellegrini and knew I couldn't catch her as she's so far ahead at the moment.
"Pellegrini is an amazing athlete and I'm just please to get the silver behind her. Two years ago in Rome I took the bronze so this meet is better for me already."
The only other British swimmers in final action in the pool were the 4x100m Freestyle Relay team.
Also in an outside lane, the quartet of Adam Brown, Liam Tancock, Grant Turner and Simon Burnett finished eighth in the final, touching in 3:15.03 with Australia (3:11.00) taking gold ahead of France (3:11.14) and USA (3:11.96).
Jemma Lowe and Ellen Gandy both reached their first long course World Championship final, progressing fifth and eighth fastest respectively from the 100m Butterfly semi finals.
To make my first World Championship final is such a great feeling.
Commonwealth bronze medallist Lowe finished third in her semi final in 57.57 to progress while Commonwealth silver medallist Gandy squeezed into the final after touching in 57.97.
“I’m so happy with that,” said Lowe. “To make my first World Championship final is a great feeling.
“I was quite nervous this morning. It’s a first race at the biggest of events and I wasn’t sure how I would go but it was a strong swim, faster than the morning heats and I’m in the final.”
Gandy added: “I still feel like I’m finding my feet at this World Championships but my aim tonight was to go under 58 seconds and that’s what I did.
“I’m in the final now so there are two of us in there and I’m excited about tomorrow.”
Hannah Miley also progressed through the semi finals on day one, qualifying fifth fastest for tomorrow’s 200m Individual Medley.
The European bronze medallist finished in a season’s best 2:10.95 to book her place in the final and admitted she had timed her race to perfection.
“Going in the second semi-final was definitely an advantage for me,” said Miley, who finished sixth in the same race at the last World Championships in Rome two years ago.
“I employ different tactics per event and if I push the fly leg then I may lose something on the breaststroke but tonight felt just right.”
Competing in her first World Championships, European Junior Champion Siobhan-Marie O’Connor set a new personal best to finish 13th overall in the 200m Individual Medley.
The 15-year old British Gas ITC Bath swimmer touched in 2:13.26 to move third in the all-time British rankings.
Antony James equalled his personal best on his World Championship debut in the 50m Butterfly, touching in 23.74 to finish 15th overall.
Finally, Michael Jamieson - also making his World Championship debut in Shanghai - finished 16th in the 100m Breaststroke semi finals after setting 1:00.93.