Adlington accustomed to spotlight

25 April 2012 / 15:24

Four years ago, Rebecca Adlington was preparing for the Beijing Olympics with no idea of how much her life was about to change.

Gold in the 400 metres freestyle was followed by another title in the 800m as she took down Janet Evans' long-standing world record.

The Mansfield-born swimmer instantly became a household name, although out in Beijing, Adlington had little awareness of what an impact she had made.

Adlington told Press Association Sport: "It was one of those situations - you couldn't watch the news. The TV was only linked up to Olympic events and the commentary was Chinese. We didn't have any newspapers we could read, we didn't have anything so you weren't aware.

"Even my mum and dad saying 'you are in the paper' I thought I'd got a little mention in the back, a paragraph or whatever, you didn't appreciate anything that was going on back home whereas this time it will be completely different. We'll see the news, the papers, we'll experience it all."

With the London Games just 93 days away, the 23-year-old is in the midst of heavy training after qualifying last month at the Aquatics Centre. For the Nova Centurion athlete the anticipation of performing in front of a home crowd is one that she is relishing.

"When anyone mentions what they are looking forward to most, I think everyone pretty much says the home crowd," she said.

"The venues are all a bonus but I think everyone would love it even if it was not in such an incredible pool because of a home crowd and a home Olympics that no-one has ever experienced.

"I think people got a feeling for it at trials, the crowd was a lot less but we all got a sense of what it was like and it was brilliant. I loved that atmosphere and that was only 2,500.

"The Americans and Australians are used to getting big crowds in for their trials or their meets so they are bit more used to it, but for us it is so much extra special because we are not used to it."