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Adlington scorches to superb win

BRITISH GAS SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
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

Rebecca Adlington

Adlington storms to 800m gold

Double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington stormed to the 800m freestyle title at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield.

The 20-year-old clocked eight minutes, 18.86 seconds - just 4.76 seconds outside the world record she set at the Beijing Olympics last August.

Adlington opted out of the 200m final on Wednesday to focus on the 800m.

Meanwhile, Ellen Gandy claimed the 200m butterfly title and a possible European record with a superb swim.

The 17-year-old's winning time of two minutes, 4.83 seconds needs to ratified by back-up data after British Swimming detected a fault in the timing equipment.

I'm a bit shocked by that, to be honest

Rebecca Adlington

As it stands, her time is just 0.65 seconds off the world record set by China's Zige Liu at last year's Olympics and an improvement on the former mark set by Polish swimmer Otylia Jedzejczak in 2005.

In the 800m freestyle, 18-year-old Jazmin Carlin, who was third in the 400m freestyle behind Jo Jackson and Adlington on Monday, finished second with Olympic 10km open water silver medallist Keri-Anne Payne in third.

But Adlington was in a different class to her opponents, beating the time she recorded in the semi-finals by 15.06 seconds to record the seventh fastest time in history - bettered by only three women other than herself.

It was also a season's best and secured a place at the World Championships in Rome this summer.

"I'm a bit shocked by that, to be honest," said Adlington, who broke American Janet Evans's 19-year 800m record in Beijing.

606: DEBATE

"I really just wanted to give this a solid swim and that's why I pulled out of the 200m.

"In a five-day meet it's hard to do both and, with my fitness not quite where I want it to be just yet, I can't push on in the 200m.

"This week has been a learning curve for me and, I won't lie, I haven't been blazing a trail in training.

"But I'm happy with my time, it's solid, and I really want to push on from this."

Last year's Olympic 800m finalist Cassie Patten failed to qualify after she could only finish 13th in her semi-final.

Gandy admitted that she was surprised by her provisional time - a full two seconds better than Jemma Lowe's current British record.

"I can't believe it. I had no idea I was that fast, I didn't even feel that fast. I'm in shock right now," she said.

Meanwhile, European junior champion Chris Walker-Hebborn took the title in the men's 200m backstroke.

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see also
Fina extends swimsuit regulations
19 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Jackson breaks Commonwealth mark
18 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Miley storms to European record
17 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Jackson claims new world record
16 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Adlington struggled with pressure
17 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Cash boost for British swimming
12 Mar 09 |  Olympics
New British swimming coach named
09 Jul 08 |  Swimming
Adlington heads New Year honours
31 Dec 08 |  Nottinghamshire
Adlington storms to second gold
16 Aug 08 |  Swimming
Adlington wins again
20 Mar 09 |  England


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