Rebecca Adlington aims to make Olympic history in Friday’s 800 metres freestyle final

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MANSFIELD’S Rebecca Adlington will look to make history tomorrow night and become the first British woman to defend an Olympic crown after qualifying fastest for the 800m freestyle final.

The 23-year-old, who won double gold in Beijing four years ago and bronze in the 400m freestyle in London last Sunday, clocked 8:21.78, just ahead of Lotte Friis, who is second fastest in 8:21.89.

It looks set to be a competitive final, which gets underway at 7.45pm in the Aquatics Centre tomorrow, and Adlington will be in the centre lanes.

Adlington made her way through the written press mixed zone, not stopping for interviews as she dashed to the changing rooms.

But she cut a calm and relaxed figure in and out of the pool, in front of vocal home support.

Adlington is the current world record holder for the 800m, setting 8:14.10 at the Olympics in China in 2008.