• London 2012 - Swimming

Adlington powers into 800m final

ESPN staff
August 2, 2012
Rebecca Adlington will look to show her strength in the 800m © Getty Images

Rebecca Adlington cruised into the final of the 800m freestyle in a time of 8:21.78.

Medal Table

Having grabbed a gallant bronze in the 400m, Adlington vowed to "fight like hell" to defend her title in the 800m.

And she went out and made a statement of intent by going out strong and taking her heat. Adlington went in the final heat, which is a distinct advantage in qualifying as you know exactly what to do, and she made no mistake.

Adlington is a power swimmer who is at her best when grinding down her opponents and she did exactly that by leading from the gun and gradually ramping up her pace and racing away from her rivals.

Yiwen Shao set out to match Adlington and that worked to the champion's advantage as it gave her someone to race against early in the race. Chinese swimmer Shao was dropped from the 300m mark and Adlington had clear water from the halfway point.

She effortlessly sauntered clear to post a time of 8:21.78, which was the fastest of the qualifiers, ahead of Lotte Friis and Katie Ledecky.

Ellie Faulkner posted a time of 8:38.00 but it was not good enough for a place in the final.

Adam Brown was the only Brit in the 50m freestyle and he was unable to progress with a time of 22.39.

Michael Phelps went from last to first to win his heat of the 100m butterfly. Te most decorated Olympian made a slow start and turned in last place, but powered through the final 50 to qualify for the semi-finals in second place. Chad le Clos, who beat Phelps to 200m gold, was the fastest qualifier. British pair Michael Rock (52.56) and Antony James (53.25) did not progress.

USA's Missy Franklin was once again impressive in the pool, winning her heat of 200m backstroke in 2:07.54, with Stephanie Proud of Great Britain fourth in 2:10.01. Proud was joined in the semi-finals by fellow Brit Lizzie Simmonds.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.