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SHANGHAI, China, July 30. REBECCA Adlington led when it counted, at the final touch, to win the women's 800 free world title at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Denmark's Lotte Friis, the 1500 free champion and defending champion in this event from 2009, led nearly the entire race, but Adlington outsplit her 28.91 to 29.81 in the final 50 meters to win in 8:17.51. The win is Adlington's first individual world title. Friis, meanwhile, grabbed silver with an 8:18.20.
"That was such a tough race," Adlington said. "Lotte kept edging forward. I get a two-week vacation after this, so it is totally worth it. The support I have had around me is amazing, I am such a lucky girl."
The second race in the pool was between the Americans for bronze with Kate Ziegler holding off a hard charging Chloe Sutton, 8:23.36 to 8:24.05. Sutton came charging home in the final 50, but had not done enough throughout the course of the race to make up for the lead Ziegler initially built. The bronze returned Ziegler to the 800 free podium, which she had reigned over with wins in 2005 and 2007.
"I am a bit disappointed," Ziegler said. "I wanted to be faster. Honestly, I gave everything I had. When you are swimming a race, you always want to go faster. I will see what I can do for next year's Olympics."
Hungary's Boglarka Kapas (8:24.79), Australia's Katie Goldman (8:29.20), South Africa's Wendy Trott (8:30.45) and New Zealand's Lauren Boyle (8:32.72) made up the rest of the final.