Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Adlington: Finally, Britain Are Now the Team to Fear

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Adlington: Finally, Britain Are Now the Team to Fear

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie Olympics Correspondent

[bar] EBECCA ADLINGTON believes Great Britain has never had a stronger group of swimmers and that the powerhouses of the sport, the USA and Australia, will see them as a genuine threat at the Olympics.

Adlington was among the star turns at the Olympic trials at the Aquatics Centre, which finished on Saturday, winning the 400metres and 800m freestyle, the two events in which she claimed gold at the Beijing Games.

But the 23-year-old believes she will not be the only British swimmer vying for the top step of the podium at London 2012.

"It used to be a case at major swimming championships of 'oh, that's little old GB over there'," she said. "Now we're properly getting noticed as a threat. This is definitely the best squad we've had. British swimming is fantastic right now, it's growing stronger and we're looking so good. So many people are fighting for the top spots, as we saw over the last week, and that's such a positive thing going into the Games."

Adlington is among 38 British swimmers already selected for the Games but, despite dominating her events, she admitted she was very fearful of failing to qualify.

"The fact I was so nervous just shows that I love the sport," she said. "I just wanted it so badly, particularly the 800m as it's my favourite event and I'd worked so hard for that one moment. I wasn't confident of qualifying because you never know what can happen. You might just have one of those weeks and we saw plenty of shocks in the other events. You realise just how easy it is for people not to make the team and I didn't want to be one of those people."

Before the trials, when asked about her chances of winning gold, Adlington repeatedly pointed out she had not qualified yet. But with qualification ensured, she needs to come up with another comeback.

"People see it like the gold is mine but I know it's not going to be that way," she said. "Hopefully, I'll be on the podium but I just want to get back, do the hard work and focus on the process rather than the outcome. …

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