Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington was ecstatic to have reached her first Commonwealth Games, which takes place in New Delhi in October, after she won the 200m freestyle at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield last night. The 21-year-old missed the 2006 Games after a bout of glandular fever disrupted her training and she failed to qualify.
Adlington powered down the final length to touch in 1min 57.87sec. Jazmin Carlin was second in 1:58.51 with Joanne Jackson third, 0.42sec adrift. It was a commendable performance by Jackson, the triple world medallist given her training has been badly affected by asthma. As a result of having to breathe so much harder, her ribs have been popping out during training and such were her exertions last night that she could not speak following the race.
Adlington said: "The 200 is not normally my strongest. I was pleased to come 0.2 off my best in the new suits so I am really happy with how that went. The Commonwealth Games is my main aim this year but 200 is not my strongest event."
Adlington, who failed to qualify for the 2006 Commonwealths, swept to victory in 1min 57.87sec ahead of Jazmin Carlin (1:58.51) and 2009 World Championships silver-medallist Joanne Jackson (1:58.93).
Jackson's winter training has been affected by illness, with severe asthma brought on by flu and a chest infection. As a result of having to breathe harder, Jackson's ribs have been dislocating during training and she arrived in Sheffield with few expectations.