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Adlington claims bronze in the pool

Rebecca Adlington upheld her reputation as an Olympics specialist by claiming bronze in the 400 metres freestyle. The double Beijing gold medallist was regarded as an outsider for a podium place, but a courageous swim in lane eight brought her a medal.

Adlington is famous for her emotional reactions after a race, and this was no exception. She was visibly moved by the noise made by the crowd in the Aquatic Centre as they willed her to claim a medal. "I am crying because it is so overwhelming," she said. "The crowd was amazing. It is what got me from fourth to third."

Adlington had only narrowly qualified for the final. Although she comfortably won her heat, it was a little too comfortable and the time was barely sufficient to take a final place. After that performance she tweeted that she would be doing her best in the final, but wasn’t expecting much.

The race was dominated by the winner, Camille Muffat of France, and American Alison Schmitt, but Adlington was getting stronger in the later stages, which bodes well for her chances in the 800 metres. She admitted that it had been a unique experience swimming an Olympic final in front of a home crowd.

"I felt really emotional before my race and that takes its toll," she said. "You feel sick, you go from feeling like you want to faint, to feeling like you want to cry, to feeling angry. You have so many different emotions going on. It has only just sunk in today that I am at the London Olympics. I feel like we are all only just realising it at different points."

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