Becky Adlington “Absolutely Honoured” With Nomination For British Women’s Sporting Moment Award

Rebecca Adlington of Great Britain competes in the women's 800m Freestyle Heats during the Swimming competition held at the Aquatics Center during the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Great Britain, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (Photo by Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK)
Becky Adlington: Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer ©

Double Olympic champion Becky Adlington has declared herself “absolutely honoured” after her 800m free victory at Beijing 2008 was nominated in a BBC poll to find the best sporting moment by a British woman.

Adlington set a new world record of 8:14.10 en-route to victory in the Bird’s Nest 12 years ago to eclipse the mark of 8:16.22 set by Janet Evans in August 1989.

That followed her 400 free gold when she became the first British woman to win an Olympic title in the pool since Anita Lonsbrough won the 200m breaststroke  in Rome in 1960.

Four years later Adlington took double bronze at a home Games in London.

Adlington is one of 18 women nominated in the Best British Women’s Sporting Moment poll with the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, who won heptathlon gold in London, Ellie Simmonds – who claimed 400 free gold in the pool at the 2012 Paralympics and the British women’s hockey team that triumphed at Rio 2016.

Adlington, the 2011 world champion, was nominated by Steve Parry, the 200 fly bronze medallist at the Athens Games in 2004.

Parry said:

“It has to be Rebecca Adlington’s 2008 Olympic 800m freestyle. She won by so much that you couldn’t even see on the camera shot any of her competitors in the race.

“She also broke a decade-old world record. It was an absolutely phenomenal performance. Earlier in the week, she had won the 400m freestyle as well.

“It was one of the best swimming performances that I have ever seen and probably one of the most inspirational moments I have ever witnessed.”

Adlington responded by saying on social media:

“Wow feel absolutely honoured to even be amongst these incredible women !”

 

Among those who responded was Sharron Davies, winner of 400IM silver at the Moscow Games in 1980, who said: “Voted for the only British lady to make 4 Olympic finals & win a medal in every one”Winking face with tongue

 

In an interview with Swimming World to mark International Women’s Day in March, Adlington said of an Olympic career that encompassed four medals:

“It’s something I never really see in that way which is really weird.

“When I think about it like that I’m like ‘oh my God’ but I guess when it’s happening to you, you think of it so differently.

“In London not swimming anywhere near my PB in the 800, there is still that element of ‘oh God, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to there’.

“So there is always that slight negative side to it for me personally but only because as an athlete you are constantly striving to get faster and better whereas actually it’s nice that now eight years on I am more just proud of those moments and everything that I have been through.”

bill-furniss-2008

Becky Adlington & coach Bill Furniss

She added:

“I do appreciate now more how incredible that was – at the time you don’t think about it in that sense.

“I am so happy that the stuff I achieved was at an Olympics.

“I know I did the other stuff but I did have lots of bad swims in my career, I’m not like an Adam Peaty that has won absolutely everything and been unbeaten.

“For me I am so glad that I managed to peak at the right times and get those Olympic medals.

“I am so grateful that Bill (coach Bill Furniss) and me managed to get that timing right and do it at an Olympic Games because they’re the ones that truly you want to succeed at.”

Link to BBC Best British Women’s Sporting Moment poll

 

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