Adlington scoops 2008 sport award

On December 2, 2008 by

Rebecca Adlington’s year just gets better and better as the double Olympic gold medallist was named Sportswoman of the Year 2008 at the Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA) Sports Awards which were held in London last Wednesday 26th November.

The SJA Sports Awards are in their 60th year but the Sportswoman of the Year award was only introduced in 1959 making Adlington the 50th recipient of the accolade. In 2008 we have seen a strong year for British women’s sporting achievements with Adlington triumphing over another remarkable performer, Nicole Cooke, the first cyclist to win the World Championship and Olympic road race titles in the same season, and Christine Ohuruogu, Britain’s sole athletics gold medallist at the Beijing Olympics.

Prior to her Olympic successes, Adlington was hardly known outside the swimming community but has now become a household name, much loved for her down-to-earth manner and sheer enthusiasm for her sport.

The 19 year old from Mansfield followed a gold medal winning performance in the 400m freestyle event by smashing the world record in the 800m freestyle race which had stood since the year of her birth to take her second gold medal. In doing so, Adlington became the first British swimmer to come away from the pool with two Olympic gold medals in a hundred years.

Adlington is the first swimmer to win the SJA Sportswoman of the Year award since 1980 when Sharon Davies took the honour. Anita Lonsborough and Linda Ludgrove are the only other swimmers to have taken the award in its 50 year history.

Fellow multi-Olympic gold medallist, cyclist Chris Hoy, took the Sportsman of the Year award paving the way for an interesting climax to the 2008 awards season as the two go head to head for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award which is soon to take place in Liverpool.

However, with two weeks to go until the results of the public vote are announced, Adlington is the bookmakers’ second favourite to win, with Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton tipped to gazump the two Olympic heroes and take the award thanks to his last gasp World Championship victory. Win or lose in Liverpool on December 14th, Rebecca Adlington’s heroics in the pool have done her nation proud in 2008.

Hackett retires from swimming

On October 31, 2008 by

Grant Hackett, the Olympic swimming legend, has announced his retirement at the age of just 28. He made his announcement at the Swimming Australia awards ceremony on Monday.

Although the swimmer is only 28 years of age, he feels like he has been

Life will never be the same again

On August 20, 2008 by

Ten days ago I had never heard of Rebecca Adlington. Now she is one of the buzz names on everyone’s lips and is probably going to be the face of UK Swimming for the next decade.

The title is from a Mel C song and I really think that it is rather apt. How she’ll cope with her new found fame is one of the biggest questions around. She seems to be coping rather well so far but she is still in Beijing and not back home in Mansfield.

Her local swimming pool is set to be re-named in her honour and that’ll just be the start of it. Expect a big endorsement deal with someone like Speedo or Adidas to come to fruition sooner rather than later and she’ll be someone who’ll every quickly become very much in the public eye.

For London 2012 she’ll still be just 23 years of age -– very much still in her prime. She might well be the face of the Games and that pressure will be something else. I noticed that her profile has now been set to private on the popular social networking site Facebook, she was publicly list on there just last week but now you can’t message her or search for her unless she contacts you first (Note to Becky: If you are reading this (highly unlikely) and want to say Hi – I’m on there – the surname is Monnery)

I wonder if she’s received some horrible messages or whether this has been done just because she can’t deal with the tonne of correspondence that she must be getting.

Her performances have been terrific and she will become a media darling. I hope she doesn’t listen to some of the not so nice things that’ve been written as they are undeserved. She has worked hard and achieved something that most of us could only dream about. Is it just the English way to be jealous of those that are successful?

Whatever the case one thing is for sure though and that is that this girls life will never be the same again.

Rebecca Adlington & Jo Jackson – Making a nation proud.

On August 11, 2008 by

Every four years I suddenly get into swimming and this year was no different. I’d never heard of Rebecca Adlington before Sunday but after her qualification performance, I made the decision to set the alarm and watch her go for gold live.

I am sitting here at what, nigh on half three in the afternoon, zonked out but happy with the decision I made. The 400metres freestyle saw Team GB secure two-thirds of the medals, including that top spot. Jo Jackson would take bronze as we saw two Brits on a swimming rostrum at the Olympics for the first time since 1984.

The race itself saw Adlington just sit on the legs of Katy Hoff and pace herself for an assault on the American over the last 50. The BBC commentary team hardly even mentioned her name until 25 metres out and then by 15 metres out I think they realised she was really in the thick of it. With just five metres to go they knew she had it.

To see her celebrate with her good friend and compatriot in the lane next to her, it was wonderful to see. This isn’t even her best event and yet she has come away with the gold.

All this is great for the sport and it’ll serve as a short-term boost to swimming in this country. The best question is whether it can be a boost long-term for the sport. Swimming is one of those events which requires a lot of dedication. I used to go to school with a couple of swimmers and the amount of early morning’s that they had and then swims in the evening was quite staggering. If you want to be a top-class swimmer then hard work is right at the top of the tree of qualities you need -– even higher than natural talent.

I have up most respect for anyone who can win a medal at the Olympics but to take home a gold in the swimming pool is right up there with the toughest challenges in the sporting arena. I know it is someone I’ll probably never see nor see but she made a nation proud this morning and it made me cheer and possibly wake-up the house mates.

Well done to both Becky and Jo on a wonderful performance and here’s to your other events in Beijing!

‘No way’ turns into ‘no quit’ for Lezak men’s relay team

On by

If Michael Phelps gets the eight golds then he must give a huge slice of the credit to Jason Lezak. An out-of-this world effort from the 32 year-old saw the American’s win Gold.

I wouldn’t go as far as greatest swim ever (Ian Thorpe in Sydney on the 4×200 free would get my vote) but still – it was immense.

Source : ESPN

Adlington snatches swimming gold

On by

It has been 48 years since Team GB’s women have tasted Gold in the Pool but it all changed in the early hours of this morning.

A quite fantastic race saw Gold & Bronze for GB with Jo Jackson joining Rebecca Adlington on the podium. What a race and what a result for the British team and this isn’t even Becky’s best event!

Source : BBC Sport

Ten to watch: Liam Tancock

On August 5, 2008 by

Britain have had a few stars of the swimming pool but this might be the next big one – Liam Tancock.

Source : BBC Sport

Welcome to TalkSwimming

On May 29, 2008 by

Welcome to the TalkSwimming Blog

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You’ll also be able to Sign Up to the forums where you’ll be able to chat about the sport with fellow fans.

We hope you enjoy TalkSwimming.