Golden girl Rebecca Adlington is hoping for another stroke of success

Rebecca Adlington became the golden girl of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning the 400m and 800m freestyle and famously bagging herself a gold pair of Jimmy Choos from the mayor of her home town, Mansfield, in the process.

So does her local council have another prize in store for her if she triumphs at London 2012?

Rebecca Adlington Olympic gold medalist

“No, I don’t think anyone wants to jinx it too much,” she laughs.

The 23-year-old – going into the Games as Britain’s most successful Olympic swimmer in 100 years – says support from UK fans “means so much” to her.

“But there’s a flipside,” she adds. “There’s a lot of pressure. But it is nice to know people support you, no matter what.”

Rebecca Adlington

Her gruelling training schedule, which includes daily 5.15am starts, is “one of those things that you have to tough out”, she says. She’s hoping her dedication will pay off for the second Olympics running. “I’m so nervous,” she says.

“But it’s one of those things that’s really exciting at the same time. It’s just part and parcel of it, really. I haven’t let myself think about what will happen if I win gold.”

The women’s 400m freestyle is on 29 July; the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay is on 1 August; and the women’s 800m freestyle starts on 2 August
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