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Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Adlington struggled with pressure

Venue: Ponds Forge, Sheffield Dates: 16-20 March Coverage: Listen live from 1750-2000 GMT on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Monday to Thursday and the BBC Sport website on Friday


Adlington undaunted by finishing second

Double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington has admitted she struggled with the weight of expectation after her success at the Beijing Olympics.

Adlington was speaking at the British Championships after coming second to Jo Jackson in the 400m freestyle, with both women breaking the world record.

"I'm a just turned 20-year-old girl," she told BBC Sport on Monday.

"To deal with the amount of pressure and expectation on me has been harder than I ever thought."

She added: "No-one can train you for that, not even my mum and dad, I've just have to deal with it as best as I can. Hopefully that race has shown that I have actually dealt with it quite well."


Adlington was just 19 in August 2008 when she became the first British swimmer in 100 years to win two Olympic gold medals.

She was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list and finished third behind Sir Chris Hoy and Lewis Hamilton in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year poll.

In a BBC interview in February, she said a heavy media schedule had taken a toll on her swimming so she had taken a conscious decision to cut back on non-swimming related activities.

And speaking on Monday, she said: "It's never been a question of my motivation, I've always been motivated, it's just a question of how to deal with it."

Adlington added: "Up until Christmas it was all up and down with everything going on, Sports Personality, it was just life changing.

"I have to deal with a lot of things, I have a lot of pressure on me and a lot of expectation. I found it hard."

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see also
Jackson claims new world record
16 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Cash boost for British swimming
12 Mar 09 |  Olympics
'Ryder Cup' of swimming unveiled
12 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Becky limits media interviews
26 Feb 09 |  England
New British swimming coach named
09 Jul 08 |  Swimming
Adlington heads New Year honours
31 Dec 08 |  Nottinghamshire
Adlington could target four golds
29 Sep 08 |  Olympics
In Pictures: Rebecca Adlington returns
26 Aug 08 |  In Pictures
Adlington storms to second gold
16 Aug 08 |  Swimming
Adlington snatches swimming gold
11 Aug 08 |  Swimming

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