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ADLINGTON SECURES SECOND OLYMPIC NOMINATION
5th April 2008
On the penultimate day of competition at the British Swimming Championships (50m) all eyes were on the women's 800m Freestyle final after Rebecca Adlington became the fastest woman over the distance this year in the heats earlier this week.
The Nova Centurion swimmer slashed the Commonwealth record and became the sixth fastest swimmer of all time over 800m during Thursday evening's heats and all spectators were looking for another fast swim
Adlington went out fast from the blocks and looked strong throughout the race, she gave herself a two second lead at the 300m mark and knowing she had more to give pushed on to increase her lead.
At 500m Adlington increased her lead to more than seven seconds over her closest competitors and she took the gold medal with a time of 8:20.29 just outside the Commonwealth record she posted this week.
"That felt really painful," she said. "It hurt a lot but I'm so happy with that time. It's still 5 seconds ahead of where I was before this meet. I have a great coach who knows how to get the best out of me and it has been a great week for me."
With the gold medal secured early on, the battle for second place was fought out between Derwentside's Joanne Jackson and Stockport Metro's Cassie Patten. Jackson went out harder than Patten over the first 500m to look safe in second place.
But it was Patten that proved to have the stronger finish and overtook Jackson at 600m and showed her distance strength as she pushed on to increase her lead over Jackson. Patten claimed the second place with a time of 8:29.83.
Jackson took the bronze medal in a time of 8:38.05.
The final of the women's 200m Backstroke saw 17-year-old Elizabeth Simmonds claim her second nomination to this year's British Olympic squad.
The Lincoln Vulcans swimmer gave herself the lead at the 100m mark where she went almost a second ahead of the other athletes that had met the qualifying time.
As she entered the final 50m Simmonds battled hard to keep her lead with Gemma Spofforth (Portsmouth) challenging for the number one spot but Simmonds took the gold medal with a time of 2:08.99.
"I got a little bit excited today and went out faster than usual but I've got to learn to do that and get it right," Simmonds said. "It wasn't my best swim but I'm in there now."
Spofforth, who became the 100m Backstroke champion earlier this week, had to settle for second place and took the silver medal in a time of 2:09.70.
The bronze medal went to Stephanie Proud who touched in a time of 2:11.10.