Record medal haul expected for Team GB's Olympic swimmers, says Rebecca Adlington

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Adlington was joined by former taekwondo star Sarah Stevenson to unveil a mural in Manchester as part of the PurpleBricks Home Support campaign
Adlington was joined by former taekwondo star Sarah Stevenson to unveil a mural in Manchester as part of the PurpleBricks Home Support campaign

Rebecca Adlington expects Team GB’s Olympic swimming squad to be in for a record-breaking medal haul in Tokyo this summer, writes Bella Butler.

Having won two Olympic golds in Beijing where she broke a world record, Adlington thinks this year’s swimming squad will be the most successful yet.

Adlington, who is Britain’s most celebrated Olympic swimmer in history, believes Adam Peaty will be leading the charge of medal collections as he heads to his second Games, and may even be taking that title from her.

Peaty won silver in the 4x100m medley and gold in the 100m breaststroke back in 2016 and is the current world record holder in the event.

“I think Adam will of course be the star. What Adam has achieved has just been phenomenal,” said Adlington, who is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo.

“He definitely has the potential to take my title as Britain’s most successful Olympic swimmer off me, and I’m more than happy to pass it on to him! He can break more world records.

“I think if everyone in the swimming squad is healthy, it will be the best Olympics we've ever had.

“They've been so impressive in the Olympic trials, Europeans, they just need to keep that momentum going.

“I think we could better what we've done in the past - we have the potential for between five and eight medals I would say.”

Alongside Peaty, Adlington also noted the speed of the 2016 4x100m medley gold medallist Molly Renshaw, as well as those making their Olympic debut, and believes that spreading the talent across the events will be key for Team GB’s medal potential.

She said: “We have so much depth in the relays and so many individual opportunities; obviously, Adam, but also Duncan Scott, James Guy, Freya Anderson, Abbie Wood, Molly Renshaw - you can just keep listing them!”

“We have really good relay chances, not just to get a bronze, but gold and silver.

Adlington won two medals in front of home crowds at the London 2012 Olympics
Adlington won two medals in front of home crowds at the London 2012 Olympics

“Duncan's got a really busy schedule so it'll be interesting to see what he chooses, but Molly – if she swims the way she did at Olympic trials, she'll be unstoppable.

“Matt Richards and Jacob Whittle have just burst on the scene. They are young lads, but anything could happen.

“I think the hardest thing in an Olympic Games is you have to do a personal best just to get through to the next round.

“We're used to thinking of just the big hitters, but this crop of athletes could swarm in and take the whole bunch!”

Purplebricks is working with communities, athletes, and local artists to create commemorative murals for Team GB, encouraging the nation to show home support and get behind the athletes at the Tokyo Olympics. Visit @PurplebricksUK or https://www.purplebricks.co.uk/team-gb

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