Adlington wins second gold but 'Delhi belly' costs Halsall medal

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The Independent Online

Rebecca Adlington does not plan to put her feet up just yet.

"I'm going to spend two weeks in London now, checking out Selfridges for all the new shoes," she said, after her draining Commonwealth Games programme came to a successful conclusion in the Dr S P Mukherjee Aquatic Complex yesterday. The young woman from Mansfield remains the Imelda Marcos of the swimming world. She has also regained her multiple Midas touch in the major championship pool.

She was not the only one wearing an England swim cap. On a night when the medals flowed for the English aquatic squad – they were 10 of them in all, plus two for Wales – Adlington, Liam Tancock and James Goddard all completed golden doubles. Tancock won the 100m backstroke in a Games record 53.59sec. Goddard won the 200m individual medley in 1min 58.10sec.

"I'm really pleased with that, to come away with victory in a tough environment and with a tough crowd," said Tancock, who defended the title he won in 2006.

For Adlington, though, it was a second gold in two days, and a second in an endurance event. It was also a second after the 21-year-old pride of the Nova Centurion club had been hit by the stomach bug that has swept through several of the national swim squads here. It bodes well for the defence of her Olympic 400m and 800m crowns on home ground in 2012 that she managed to emulate her Beijing double in such trying circumstances here.

On Thursday Adlington led from start to finish in the 800m. Yesterday she did the same in the 400m, smashing Sarah Hardcastle's 24-year-old Games record with a time of 4:05.68, with Jazz Carlin of Wales claiming bronze in her wake. "It was tough after the 800m last night," Adlington said. "I was really aching this morning. It was a case of having to put that aside and be mentally tough. I've got two weeks off now, you've got to focus on that. It doesn't matter how much I hurt now or how much I hurt tomorrow.

"This is a massive boost ahead of London 2012, knowing that I can manage a big programme like I have taken on here."

And that she has overcome a dose of Delhi Belly in the process. "I can't complain," Adlington said. "Some people have been much worse than I have."

The worst affected member of the England team, Fran Halsall, doubled her medal tally for the week yesterday, taking silver in the 50m freestyle and in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay.

In the 50m, the 20-year-old appeared to be set to overhaul Yolane Kukla, who has just turned 15, but the Australian held on with Halsall touching in 24.98 sec with her England team-mate Amy Smith in seventh. The time was 0.31sec outside Halsall's season's best as the effects of her bout of Delhi Belly took their toll.

Halsall could not hide her emotions: "I'm just really disappointed," she said. "I thought I would be good to go but I just don't have any energy. If I had been well I would have won that. You can't choose when you're well or not and unfortunately I got ill two days ago.

"At least I know I can do these things [swim when ill] and I can handle it. I just didn't have as much power as Kukla. I am absolutely knackered."

There were also silvers for Lizzie Simmonds (200m backstroke), Gemma Spofforth (50m backstroke) and Joe Roebuck (200m individual medley), plus bronzes for Antony James (100m butterfly), Kate Haywood (100m breaststroke) and for Wales' Georgia Davies (50m backstroke).

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