MANSFIELD’S ‘golden girl’ Rebecca Adlington followed up her two Olympic gold medals four years ago in Beijing with a bronze medal in Sunday night’s 400 metres freestyle at the London Olympics.
After earlier in the day qualifying eighth fastest, she had warned her fans not to expect too much in the final.
But she dug deep in a tremendous swim to finish in 4:03.01 behind France’s Camille Muffat 4:01.45, a new Olympic record, and Allison Schmitt, second in 4:01.77.
Adlington’s time was faster than when she claimed her surprise gold four years ago and is being seen as a good pointer towards her favoured 800 metres later in the week.
Afterwards she said: “Twelve years of hard work has gone into that and it’s hard, it was so hard.
“It’s always the 400m that feels tougher than the 800m. I’m so glad I got a medal at a home Games, not many people can say that.”
She also praised the tremendous support in the Aquatics Centre and back in Mansfield and from her family and friends, adding: “I know so many people wanted me to get the gold but I’m so pleased with that. Everyone has just been so amazing. It’s amazing the support I’ve had.”
Becky added: “I am so pleased. I gave everything. There is not an ounce of disappointment. Swimming is one of those sports, it’s really hard to medal in. I can only do my best.
“A lot of people expected me to get a gold and the fact that I got that reception when I got out the pool (having won a bronze) is amazing.”
Leave your messages of congratulation for Becky below and we will print a selection in next week’s Chad.