Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Adlington vows to recapture Beijing form after disappointing year

Britain's double Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington says she is determined to raise her game in 2010 after a slump in form following her Beijing triumphs.

"Beijing may turn out to be the best week of my entire life but I'd hate to think that everything went downhill from the age of 19," she said. "I don't want to be a one-hit wonder. I'm always going to remember 2009. I'll always recall how it felt not to perform. And I'm never going to let it happen again."

Adlington (above) won the 400m and 800m freestyle golds in Beijing in 2008 but came only third in the 400m and fourth in the 800m at the world championships in Rome in July. The Briton had earlier spoken out against new bodysuits – now banned – used by many swimmers at that event as "technological doping" and refused to wear them. "We'll never know what difference the swimsuits made in Rome," she said.

"What I do know is that I swam the 800m three seconds slower than in the previous year. It's taken me time to work out why, but September to December is a crucial time. I spent a fair bit of that time last year enjoying the post-Beijing euphoria, and I wouldn't swap it for anything."