MANSFIELD’S Rebecca Adlington was full of praise for her teenage rival after 15-year-old American Katie Ledecky took her Olympic 800m freestyle crown in emphatic fashion.
Adlington, who won double gold in Beijing four years ago, had already won bronze in London in the 400m and after qualifying fastest for tonight’s final, was favourite for gold.
But Ledecky led from start to finish at the Aquatics Centre with the second fastest time in history in 8:14.63, just shy of Adlington’s world record. Adlington was third in 8:20.32 after Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia clawed her way back to take silver.
Adlington was gracious in being dethroned and said: “I am disappointed but very proud to win bronze. That is four medals now in four Olympic finals.
“Katie was amazing. She has such a career ahead of her and I think being part of that USA team she will deal with that pressure very well. I think she will break my world record at some point. I thought she was getting it in that race. But I am still glad it is on the board still at the moment.”