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ADLINGTON SLASHES COMMONWEALTH RECORD
Rebecca Adlington became the fastest swimmer in the world over 800m this year after smashing a 19-year-old Commonwealth record at the British Swimming Championships (50m).
The Nova Centurion swimmer already broke the 400m Freestyle Commonwealth record this week and went into the women's 800m Freestyle heats hungry to gain more records to add to her impressive total throughout the competition.
World Open Water silver medallist Cassie Patten kept up with Adlington's fast pace over the first 200m but the Commonwealth record holder showed her desire for more pool success and pulled away from Patten at the 300m mark.
Adlington, who has been showing her excellent form throughout the week, carved out a lead of almost six seconds at 500m and turned well within the Commonwealth record at 700m.
She kept up her pace and touched home in 8:19.22 to become one of only six women in the world to swim under 8 minutes 20 seconds.
"I never thought about getting that time," Adlington said. "It was only a heat swim and I just wanted to make the qualifying time. I don't know how I did it but to go that fast is amazing I just never thought I could do it.
"My coach and I discussed breaking the British record earlier this week and he was going to signal me if I slipped off the pace. I didn't see any signs but I didn't think I would go sub 8.30. To beat a 19-year-old record is amazing and to get so close to the best in the world is frightening. I still have it all to do on Saturday. It will be a tight final and I know nothing is guaranteed."
Three other athletes also made the FINA 'A' qualifying time through the heats. Cassie Patten, who finished second in Adlington's heat, secured her time of 8:32.35. Rebecca Cooke (City of Glasgow) finished in 8:35.34 and Joanne Jackson (Derwentside) touched in 8:35.93.
Borough of Stockton swimmer Jemma Lowe continued to prove her dominance in the Butterfly events by claiming her second British record at the British Swimming Championships (50m)
Lowe was swimming in the final heat and had to watch her closest rivals performances before she could take to the blocks. City of Birmingham's Terri Dunning was the first to make the FINA 'A' time after winning her heat in 59.19.
Fran Halsall (City of Liverpool), who was taking part in her second race of the day, went out quickly and broke Lowe's British record in 58.44 and became the second swimmer to meet the time.
Lowe, who had seen the speed of both Dunning and Halsall, knew that pride was at stake and was pushed on to swim a fast time in her heat. She went out hard for the first 50m and gave herself a lead over Beckenham's Ellen Gandy. Lowe touched in 57.78 to re-claim her British record and secure her qualifying time.
"That was brilliant," Lowe said. "I'm feeling very confident at the moment, I've done the work and it's showing in my results. Seeing Fran break my record made me race quicker tonight and its great to get it back."
Gandy also met the time after touching second with a time of 58.73.
14. March 195
photo Cheltenham jockey club
14. March 219
photo Cheltenham Racecourse