Adlington eases into final as Jackson suffers

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The Independent Online

Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington eased into the final of the 800metres freestyle as she dominated the event on the third morning of the British Gas Swimming Championships here yesterday.

The event represents the first stage of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October as well as selection for the European Championships in Budapest in August.

Adlington has already booked her place at both events with victory in the 200m freestyle on Monday and yesterday she returned to Ponds Forge to cruise into tonight's final in eight minutes 33.57 seconds.

Jazmin Carlin was second fastest through in 8mins 41.61secs but world championship silver medallist Joanne Jackson did not start due to the severe asthma she is currently suffering.

Adlington knew she had been in control, saying: "At the end of the day it's what you have to do as a major, it's kind of good to get in and swim a solid 800 just before the finals. It's so much unlike any other event, that it's just good to get in and try and keep it smooth. That felt really controlled, I am quite happy with that swim."

Jackson has been suffering from asthma brought on by flu and a chest infection. The pain is intense for days after she swims meaning there is little respite for the Loughborough athlete, which underlines the sheer grit of her third place behind Adlington and Carlin in the 200m freestyle which qualified her for the relay in Budapest.

Now the 23-year-old is waiting to hear whether the Yorkshire Primary Care Trust will allow her to be prescribed Xolair, a treatment that can cost up to £8,000 a year and is only usually available for those who have a history of emergency hospital trips.

Adlington said: "It's a bad situation but at the end of the day I'm sure she'll swim the house down as always."