BECKY Adlington has confirmed she will not attempt to add the 200m freestyle to her tally of Olympic swims in June – meaning her individual medal bid in London will remain at two.
Mansfield’s 23-year-old double Olympic champion (pictured right) made certain of swims in the 400m and 800m freestyle at the British Gas Championships in March – leaving the capital with world leading times in both.
Adlington ticked off the 400m first, but just a day after doing so, chose to pull out of the shorter 200m, an event in which she is a Commonwealth bronze medallist, in order to concentrate on the 800m.
Whether she needed to is debatable with Adlington winning 800m gold by over eight seconds while in the 200m only Rebecca Turner made certain of an individual place at this summer’s Olympics.
Not only is there now one more individual place up for grabs for Adlington at the second Olympic trials in June but also potentially another in the 4x200m relay team with only four out of six chosen so far.
Adlington does intend to compete in Sheffield in the 200m but revealed the best she is expecting to come away with is a relay spot, with the class of fellow Brits on show who will be gunning for the remaining London 2012 Olympic spot.
“I am doing the 200m at the trials but I am not tapering back so to be honest I don’t really think I will make it because there are other girls like Jazmin Carlin who will rest back for it,” said Adlington.
“I am doing it but I doubt I will make it. If I could make the 4x200m freestyle relay team that would be great but I am not looking to qualify individually.
“I thought the British Gas Championships were an unbelievable week, not just for myself, but for everyone around me and it was amazing to see everyone swimming fast.
“I was very, very pleased with how the week went. The 400m was first up and I managed to qualify and that took a lot of pressure off and I was very relieved and happy after that.
“But I didn’t have time to celebrate because I had the 800m as well and that was the event that I really wanted to do well in.
“Once I knew I was ahead in it, it was all about clocking a good time and the fact that I went two seconds quicker than I did compared to this time last year was unbelievable.
“I was so pleased because it showed that I am improving, everybody wants to improve as an athlete, and hopefully I can improve on that event more for the Games.”
Adlington has spent the past week back down in London, training at the Olympic Aquatics Centre along with the 37 other qualified swimmers as part of the annual national camp.
There she has trained for the first time with 19-year-old Eleanor Faulkner, the other British qualified swimmer in the 800m, and Adlington insists it is a new face that she has welcomed seeing.
“The camp was amazing and it is good for me to get to train with the girls on the British team as usually I train on my own at home,” she added.
“I have never trained with Ellie before and it was brilliant to get to know the newcomers like her and especially to work with them as it encourages us all.
“We are all very friendly and supportive – nothing bad is happening in the pool – and we do push each other on and we need that.”
British Gas supports British Swimming at all levels and is getting the nation to show its support for Britain’s swimmers. For more information visit www.facebook.com/BGSwimming.by Vaughn Ridley/SWPIX.com