Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington recorded the world’s fastest 800metres freestyle time this year to put her 2009 heartache firmly behind her.
Adlington, 21, left her rivals 13 seconds adrift at the British Gas Championships in Sheffield in her favourite event, which she will add to her programme for the European Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Her time of 8min 21.95sec was seven seconds outside of her world record from Beijing. But there was no one to push her after Jo Jackson withdrew due to asthma problems.
Adlington, recalling her fourth place in the 800m at the Rome World Championships last year, said: “It was a massive disappointment.
“It was so hectic after the Olympics and I had not done enough work – but it has been very different this season. Tonight it felt really smooth.” Adlington, winner of the 200m freestyle on Monday, is back in the pool today for the 400m freestyle.
Roberto Pavoni also recorded the fastest time in the world as he won the men’s 400m individual medley in 4:15.55, breaking James Goddard’s English record.
World silver medallist Fran Halsall won the 100m butterfly gold in 57.83. But it needed a quick-change act after she split her costume minutes before the race.