Monday, March 16, 2009

Joanne Jackson and Rebecca Adlington Break 400 Free World Record; Jackson 4:00.66

In a head-to-head showdown, Rebecca Adlington and Joanne Jackson, the gold and bronze medalists from the Olympics in the 400 Free, went head-to-head in the first women's final of Brittish nationals. The two were out under world record pace for the first 100 meters, but settled down, only to pick up the pace down the stretch. Jackson led the whole way and was one one-hundreth of a second off the record as she turned for home, but both girls turned it on on the finals 50, Jackson taking the touch, 4:00.66 to 4:00.89. Both swims destroyed Federica Pellegrini's World Record of 4:01.53 set at last year's European championships. The prospect of a sub-4:00 swim doesn't seem too far off, considering the pair will face off against Pellegrini and Olympic silver medalist Katie Hoff in Rome in just a few months.

With her World Record, Jackson became the second swimmer to qualify for the British team, following David Davies' British record in the 400 Free of 3:45.24. Adlington has not yet qualified for Rome; at these trials, only the top swimmer qualifies; a second will have a chance in June at a second trials. However, Adlington will probably be on the team well before that, as she swims the 800 Free this week, an event Jackson will forego (she will swim it in June).

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