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Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 10:46 UK

Adlington plays down medal hopes

Fina World Championships
Date: 17 July-2 August (swimming from 26 July) Venue: Rome
Coverage: Live/highlights on BBC Two, Red Button and BBC Sport website


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Adlington expects Rome to be close

Britain's double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington has played down her gold medal hopes ahead of the World Swimming Championships in Rome.

The 20-year-old, who won gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle in Beijing, will compete in the 400m, 800m and the 4x200m relay in Italy.

"I'm trying not to get my hopes up. I'm not expecting to go and win two gold medals," said Adlington.

"It's going to be a very different competition (from the Olympics)."

Adlington's achievements in Beijing, which included a world record in the 800m, makes her one of the favourites to claim gold in Rome but she faces stiff competition from fellow Briton Jo Jackson and Italian Federica Pellegrini.

Jackson beat Adlington in the 400m at the Scottish National Championships in a then world record and also ran her extremely close in the 800m, losing by only one second.

Jackson spurred on by Adlington

Pellegrini, who won Olympic gold in the 200m freestyle in Beijing, has set two world records this year, in the 200m freestyle and the 400m freestyle, beating Jackson's Glasgow time, and has the advantage of a home crowd.

"All three of us can swim quick, it just depends who gets the touch," said Adlington. "The Italian swimmers are unbelievable so we know they're going to swim well on home ground."

Adlington admitted that the healthy rivalry between her and Jackson was to the benefit of both swimmers.

"It's a massive help. We definitely push each other on, support each other," she said. "It's nice we are there for each other well. I genuinely support her in everything she does."

We'll go out there as a big team, cheer each other along help each other. Hopefully we can bring back medals

Jo Jackson

Jackson, 24, believes that she will need to break the world record to secure gold in the 400m and believes she is capable of doing just that.

"The way things are going at the moment, there are so many people swimming so well, from the outside, it looks like it will be under four minutes to win, but you never know," said Jackson.

"Looking back on it (her June world record), there were so many things I could have improved on - and I have improved on them so hopefully I can go even quicker next time."

While Jackson refused to be drawn on specific targets, she did state that the team were confident of winning medals.

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"There's about 40 swimmers going out there and everyone's swimming so well," she said. "We'll go out there as a big team, cheer each other along help each other. Hopefully we can bring back medals."

Liam Tancock, who goes in search of his fourth World Championship gold, competing in the 4x100m freestyle relay, the 50m and 100m backstroke and the medley relay, claims he is stepping into the unknown in Rome.

"To be honest, I don't really know where everyone is," said Tancock. "There are all these crazy times being posted around the world from all these nations you wouldn't really expect.

"It's a nightmare and it's annoying but it is happening and we have to deal with it and the ones who deal with it the best are the ones who swim the best."



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see also
Hi-tech suits banned from January
31 Jul 09 |  Swimming
Payne powers to 10km world crown
22 Jul 09 |  Swimming
Miley seeking no pressure in Rome
22 Jul 09 |  Scotland
Daley wins historic World title
21 Jul 09 |  Diving
Adlington edges Jackson in 800m
26 Jun 09 |  Swimming
Adlington scorches to superb win
19 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Jackson claims new world record
16 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Adlington storms to second gold
16 Aug 08 |  Swimming
Adlington sets new Olympic record
14 Aug 08 |  Swimming
Swimming on the BBC
02 Oct 07 |  Swimming


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