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Swimming - 14. August 2008.

Beijing-Girl Power

Foster's disappointment was soon forgotten as Gold medallist in the Women's 400m freestyle, Rebecca Adlington returned to the pool to take part in her favourite event the 800m freestyle. Ranked first coming into the event this year, Adlington won her heat of the 800m freestyle by over three seconds in a new Olympic record of 8:18.06, the second fastest time in history and making her the fastest the qualifier from the 800m freestyle heats. "I didn't expect that at all. I wasn't as strong on the last 400m as usual but I worked off the other girls and finished well. When I finished I actually saw my parents who arrived in Beijing this morning so it was great that they could see me swim tonight." Keen to dismiss her chances of being in a position to break the world record, which has been held by Janet Evans (USA) since 1989, Adlington said "taking a couple of seconds off my personal best will be really tough." Asked about how the past couple of days have been since winning her gold medal she said, "its not really been very exciting as I knew I had today's swim. I went down to the quiet pool on Tuesday, had a lie in on Wednesday morning then came down competition pool yesterday for a little paddle. I've spoken to my parents, boyfriend and friends but I had to focus on today's swim." In conclusion she said "the relay is in the past, the girls swam their hearts out and you couldn't ask for more from them. I'm now looking forward to the final."

Cassie Patten, will be joining her team mate in the final, after qualifying eighth in 8:25.91, lowering her personal best by three seconds. "Gosh, it felt really good, it was hard but the 800m isn't as hard as the 10k open water. I didn't want to come here to make up the numbers, there is no doubt that my main event will be the open water but to get to the final in the 800m is great, I've taken four seconds off my PB after taking six or seven off already just to make the Olympics and if you said to me a year ago I was going to be in an Olympic final I would have been like, whatever. I've dreamt about this moment since I was a little girl," said Patten.

Camelia Alina Potec (Romania) qualified second fastest in 8:19.70 with Lotte Friis of Denmark qualifying in third in 8:21.74. The 800m final is on Saturday at 0313 BST.

In the final event of the evening's heats, Team GB girls lifted the mood again. Lizzie Simmonds, swimming in her preferred event the Women's 200m backstroke, lowered the British record to 2:08.66, qualifying for tomorrow's semi-finals in second place. "I was a little excited in that race, I tried to stick to my race plan but just went with the race. It was so exciting to be out there. I like the 200m as I have more time to get into my race and to be more controlled. I've probably worked on the 200m more in training," said Simmonds. Looking forward to tomorrow she said, "I hope to bring it back faster tomorrow. The GB team is doing awesome making so many semi-finals and finals and the atmosphere is amazing which spurs you on to do well."

Gemma Spoffoth, who just missed out on a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke, just managed to squeeze in the semi-finals in sixteenth place in a time of 2:10.58. After the race Spofforth said, " after the first 50m I looked up at the score board and saw my time which was faster than planned. I've been a little disappointed with my fourth place and to honest my head wasn't really in the race." Hopefully she will be able to have a more focused swim tomorrow.

Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe qualified in first setting a new Olympic record of 2:06.76 with Australia's Meagen Nay qualifying in third in 2:08.79.
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