• London Olympics 2012

Adlington wary after record win

ESPN staff
June 7, 2012
Rebecca Adlington broke 8min 20sec in the 800m freestyle for the second time this season in Barcelona © PA Photos

Rebecca Adlington has admitted that she surprised herself with her record performance in the 800m freestyle in Barcelona as she prepares to defend her Olympic titles at London 2012 this summer.

The Olympic 400m and 800m freestyle champion became the first woman to break eight minutes 20 seconds twice in a single season after swimming 8 min 19.86s at the Mare Nostrum meet in the Catalan capital on Saturday.

"When I finished I was so shocked," Adlington told the Sun. "I did a double take at my time. I really did not expect that time.

"It has given me so much confidence and put me on the right track but, at the same time, I know I can't rest on my laurels.

"I have a lot of hard work left. I don't want to become complacent and think, 'Oh, I've done 8.19 so I can go to the Olympics and do that time again."

Adlington also exorcised some personal demons in her first race in Barcelona since warming up for the 2010 European Championships there, famously leaving the pool in tears after finishing seventh in a time of 8min 27.48s.

But the 23-year-old has learnt from the experience and is determined to avoid the same pattern emerging at the Olympics, which is now just 50 days away.

"The last time I competed in Barcelona in 2010 I did 8:21 but then had that awful performance at the European Championships when I got 8:27," she noted. "It was the same space between now and the Olympics. It went dreadfully wrong then and I am aware the same thing could happen.

"I just think, 'Right, I've got more hard work. I need to get back into it.' I've learnt more from my disappointments over the last four years than from the good times."

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