Adlington claims gold for Britain in Shanghai

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The Independent Online

Rebecca Adlington today claimed the gold medal in the 800 metres freestyle with a wonderful swim at the World Championships in Shanghai.

The 22-year-old is the reigning Olympic champion and can now add the world title after she overtook defending champion Lotte Friis on the final length.

The Nova Centurion swimmer was fastest into the final after a time in yesterday's heat only she has bettered this year.

Today she and Friis fought out a private duel with the Briton winning in eight minutes 17.51 seconds.

It is Adlington's second medal of the competition after she took silver in the 400m freestyle on the first night at the Oriental Sports Centre.

It is Great Britain's first gold medal in the pool at Shanghai and their third in total after Adlington's double and Ellen Gandy's silver in the 200m butterfly.

The Mansfield-born swimmer was fourth at the last World Championships in Rome two years ago and again finished out of the medals at last year's European Championships.

But she hopes this success will help her build-up to London 2012 as she looks to claim a third Olympic title.

Adlington said: "I don't know what to say, I'm so happy.

"Obviously, it's absolutely amazing.

"I knew it was going to be tough.

"Lotte has been amazing all week, she is always strong.

"I've known Lotte from European Juniors right up until now at 22.

"We've always raced against each other and it's always been one does it one year and one does it the next year but I hope to God it's me next year."