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Rebecca Adlington

Rebecca Adlington is Great Britain’s most successful Olympic swimmer of the past 100 years, having won four medals across two Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012.

Rebecca Adlington Profile

Date of Birth 17th February 1989
Born Mansfield
Team/Club Nova Centurion
Achievements Double Olympian (2008, 2012), 4 x Olympic medals, 4 x World medals, 4 x Commonwealth medals, 3 x European medals, 2 x World SC medals
On her Olympic debut at Beijing 2008, Adlington became a household name overnight after winning gold in the 400m Freestyle. Later in the week, Adlington set a world record in the heats of the 800m Freestyle before going on to win the final two days later in another world record of 8:14.10 - two seconds under the previous record set by USA's Janet Evans when Adlington was six months old.

The teenager's achievements in China made her the first British swimmer to win two Olympic gold medals since 1908 and first British Olympic swimming champion since Adrian Moorhouse at Seoul 1988.

The following season, Adlington scooped her first World Championship medals in the long course pool, winning bronze in both the 400m Freestyle and 4x200m Freestyle Relay.

She returned to her best form in time for her Commonwealth debut at Delhi 2010, doubling up again for golds over 400m and 800m Freestyle, as well as adding two more bronze medals over 200m Freestyle and 4x200m Freestyle Relay.

In 2011, Adlington completed her collecting of international titles, becoming Great Britain's first freestyle world champion with 800m Freestyle gold in Shanghai, having already won 400m Freestyle silver earlier in the week.

She signed off in memorable style at her second Olympic Games in front of a home crowd at London 2012, springing a surprise bronze medal from an outside lane in the 400m Freestyle, then repeating the result to win an emotional 800m Freestyle bronze.

Personal Best

Event Time Year Record
Long Course 200m Freestyle 1:56.66 2008  
Long Course 400m Freestyle 4:00.79 2009  
Long Course 800m Freestyle 8:14.10 2008 ER
Short Course 200m Freestyle 1:59.25 2006  
Short Course 400m Freestyle 3:59.04 2009  
Short Course 800m Freestyle 8:08.25 2008  

International Competitions

Competition Event Year Time Medal/Position
Olympic Games 400m Freestyle 2012 4:03.01 BRONZE
  800m Freestyle   8:20.32 BRONZE
  400m Freestyle 2008 4:03.22 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:14.10 GOLD
World Championships 200m Freestyle 2011 1:59.40 24th
  400m Freestyle   4:04.01 SILVER
  800m Freestyle   8:17.51 GOLD
  400m Freestyle 2009 4:00.79 BRONZE
  800m Freestyle   8:17.90 4th
  4x200m Freestyle  Relay   7:45.51 BRONZE
  800m Freestyle 2007 8:36.26 10th
Commonwealth Games 200m Freestyle 2010 1:58.47 BRONZE
  400m Freestyle   4:05.68 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:24.69 GOLD
  4x200m Freestyle Relay   7:58.61 BRONZE
European Championships 400m Freestyle 2010 4:04.55 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:27.38 7th
  4x200m Freestyle Relay   7:55.29 BRONZE
  400m Freestyle 2006 4:13.91 11th
  800m Freestyle   8:27.88 SILVER
  4x200m Freestyle Relay (heats)   7:57.86 4th
World Short Course Championships 800m Freestyle 2008 8:08.25 GOLD
  4x200m Freestyle Relay   7:36.96 SILVER
European Short Course Championships 400m Freestyle 2006 4:09.66 14th
  800m Freestyle   8:20.42 4th
  400m Freestyle 2004 4:20.43 20th
  800m Freestyle   8:36.84 7th
  200m Butterfly   2:15.02 20th

Domestic Events

Competition Event Year Time Medal/Position
British Championships 400m Freestyle 2012 4:02.35 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:18.54 GOLD
  200m Freestyle 2011 1:58.90 GOLD
  400m Freestyle   4:02.84 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:20.23 GOLD
  200m Freestyle 2010 1:57.87 GOLD
  400m Freestyle   4:05.50 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:21.95 GOLD
  400m Freestyle 2009 4:00.89 SILVER
  800m Freestyle   8:18.86 GOLD
  200m Freestyle 2008 1:57.94 GOLD
  400m Freestyle   4:04.50 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:20.29 GOLD
  200m Freestyle 2006 2:01.34 BRONZE
  400m Freestyle   4:10.28 SILVER
  800m Freestyle   8:30.40 GOLD
  200m Freestyle 2005 2:05.43 12th
  400m Freestyle   4:27.55 15th
  800m Freestyle   8:45.38 BRONZE
  200m Freestyle 2004 2:06.30 24th
  400m Freestyle   4:22.78 10th
  800m Freestyle   8:40.80 SILVER
  100m Freestyle 2003 1:01.34 40th
  200m Freestyle   2:08.56 26th
  400m Freestyle   4:27.57 12th
  800m Freestyle   9:04.44 6th
  100m Butterfly   1:07.19 28th
ASA Championships 200m Freestyle 2012 1:58.68 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:19.03 GOLD
  400m Freestyle 2011 4:08.32 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:24.77 GOLD
  200m Freestyle 2008 1:58.75 SILVER
  400m Freestyle   4:02.80 GOLD
  800m Freestyle   8:27.86 GOLD

In the Pool

Greatest achievement: Winning two gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing which included the world record in the 800m Freestyle.

Training regime: I trained ten times a week in the pool, each session lasts two hours. Additionally I spent one hour a day doing dry land work either running or gym work.

Who has been greatest influence on you: My coach Bill Furniss.

When did you begin swimming: I learnt to swim aged four following the footsteps of my two elder sisters and started competitvely for Sherwood Collery in Mansfield doing relays aged nine and individually at ten.

Out of the Pool

Family members: Parents Kay and Steve, Older sisters - Chloe and Laura and dog Daisy.

Other sports: I run a little.

Ultimate relaxation: Staying in my joggers and watching a movie with friends.

One thing you can’t live without: Family.

Most surprising thing that has happened to me: Getting an OBE aged twenty. Never expected to!

Tip for the top: Enjoy what you do.

Life after swimming: To enjoy new challenges and some lie ins!

How would you like to be remembered: Someone who worked hard enjoyed what they did and hoepfully made a difference to the sport.


Food: Mum's Sunday Roast - the Yorkshire Puddings are immense.

Sportsperson: Chris Hoy - not only for what he has achieved but his work ethic and the way he conducts himself.


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