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SWIMMING

New world 400m freestyle record for Jackson

3 min

British swimmer Joanne Jackson set a new women's 400 metres freestyle world record, swimming the distance in four minutes 00.66 seconds. The previous record of four minutes 01.53 seconds was held by Italy's Frederica Pellegrini.

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AFP - Great Britain's Jo Jackson said she'd been "blown away" to have set a new women's 400 metres freestyle world record of four minutes 00.66 seconds on Monday.

The 22-year-old Beijing Olympic bronze medallist's time bettered the mark of previous record-holder Federica Pellegrini by almost a second.

She also beat her friend and reigning Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington into second place at the British Championships at Ponds Forge.

Adlington too was inside Italian star Pellegrini's record of 4:01.53 in a time of 4:00.89.

Jackson led from the start and, although Adlington drew level, she held off the challenge in the final 50 metres to win and set a new world record in the process.

"I knew I had been swimming well, I'd been swimming fast in training but you never know how you are going to swim in competition," said Jackson.

"To get a world record has just blown me away and for Becky (Adlington) to go under the world record as well - I'm so happy.

"I knew it was going to be so tough coming here because Becky is swimming amazing. She really pushed me there, I wanted it so much.

"I've never had the British record in the 400 so it's my first British record in the 400 and the world record! It's not a bad one."

Jackson said her podium finish in China last year had made her believe she could even achieve even more as a swimmer.

"I was really happy with the bronze at Olympics but you still want to do better than what you've done and to come away eight months after the Olympics and do that it has shocked me - but it has shown me I have got more determination and I do want to go quicker," Jackson explained.

Meanwhile Adlington, who also won 800m gold in Beijing and broke the world record in the process, said she was pleased for her friend.

"I am always happy whether I come second or not to Jo - she is such an incredible swimmer.

"I just have so much respect for her as a person and a swimmer."

Adlington added: "I've just got to do what I can to get on the team (for the World Championships in Rome in July and August)"

Adlington explained that motivating herself after Beijing was not proving difficult so much as coming to terms with the fall-out from being a double Olympic gold medallist and all that implied.

"I've always been motivated," Adlington insisted. "It's just a question of how to deal with it.

"I'm a just turned 20-year-old girl and to deal with the amount of pressure and expectation on me has been harder than I've ever thought.

"No-one can prepare me for that - not even my mum and dad - so I've just had to deal with it as best as I can and hopefully that race showed I have dealt with it quite well."

Pellegrini lowered her own world record for the 200m freestyle on March 8 with a time of 1:54.47 at the Italian Championships in Riccione.
  

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