Rebecca Adlington has secured a bronze medal in the 400m Freestyle Olympic final.
The Mansfield swimmer headed into the race defending her gold medal from Beijing four years ago, but expectations were low after she only just squeezed into the final with the eighth fastest time in the heats earlier in the day.
Adlington was down in fifth with 250m to go, but roared on by a huge British crowd in the Aquatics Centre, she fought back over the final 100m to take third with a time of 4:03.01.
The double Beijing gold medallist told the BBC: “It is so overwhelming with the crowd and everything. Twelve years of hard work has gone into that and it was hard, so hard. I’m so pleased with that, they were so far ahead and I couldn’t see beyond them so I didn’t know where I was coming, so I’m just so glad I’ve got a medal at a home Olympic games, not many people can say that.”
“The crowd was just absolutely amazing. I know so many people wanted me to get the gold, sorry for that, but I tried my absolute hardest and I’m so pleased with that,” she added.
Pre-race favourite Camille Muffat from France dominated the race, leading throughout to take the gold medal in a new Olympic record time of 4:01.45. Not far behind was Allison Schmidt, the American taking the silver medal, while world record holder Federica Pellegrini could only finish fifth.
Adlington’s bronze is Team GB’s second medal of the games and is a great boost for the 23 year old ahead of her favoured event, the 800m Freestyle, which kicks off on Thursday, with the final at around 7.45pm on Friday night.
Simon Paice – News Editor