Team GB contender, Rebecca Adlington, furthered hopes of glory in London next year when she won the gold in the 800m freestyle at the World Aquatics Championships 2011 on Saturday. The 22-year-old will compete in the 400m and 800m freestyle events in London 2012 and will be hoping that success in the championships, currently held in Shanghai, will be a springboard for more of the same at the Olympics. The swimmer, who was trailing Danish competitor, Lotte Friis, with 100m to go, turned the tables to win with 8:17.51, which is slightly slower than her World Record breaking Gold in Beijing’s 2008 Olympic games. Adlington, who became the first British swimmer in a century to win two Olympic gold medals back in 2008, also claimed silver in the 400m freestyle last weekend.
Ellen Gandy joined Adlington in the Championship celebrations with silver in the 200m butterfly on Thursday. Gandy, who won gold in the event at the British Championships earlier this year and is showing a promising consistency, was pipped to the gold by just 0.04 seconds.
The men’s 100m butterfly was hugely disappointing for the British hopeful and three-time ASA Gold medallist, Antony James, who finished a disappointing 19th in a race that saw the unstoppable Michael Phelps win gold for America in the 100m and 200m butterfly events. The Olympic champion, who also won Gold with his teammates in the 4X200m freestyle relay, was joined on the winners’ podium by fellow American and 100m butterfly bronze medal winner, Tyler McGill.
Kerri-Anne Payne also provided national pride in the form of her 10km open water race gold; and with Liam Tancock’s gold in the 50m backstroke and Hannah Miley’s silver in the 400m individual medley, Team GB is brimming with confidence.
The World Aquatics championships, which commenced on the 16th of July with participation from 181 nations, is the biggest swimming championship before the London 2012 Olympics next summer.