Brown shines for Britain in historic freestyle relay final
PUBLISHED: 11:33 11 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:13 26 October 2009
HATFIELD swimmer Adam Brown took part in the fastest 4x100m freestyle relay in history at the Beijing Olympics. Brown and the Great Britain team consisting of Simon Burnett, Ben Hockin and Ross Davenport smashed the British record for the second day runni
HATFIELD swimmer Adam Brown took part in the fastest 4x100m freestyle relay in history at the Beijing Olympics.
Brown and the Great Britain team consisting of Simon Burnett, Ben Hockin and Ross Davenport smashed the British record for the second day running to finish eighth in the final at the Water Cube.
Despite ducking under their own national best of 3 minutes 13.69 seconds, the GB quartet's final time of 3 mins 12.87 secs was an incredible four seconds behind the all-conquering Americans.
However, Brown still swam a blistering second leg to establish himself as a genuine talent on the world stage.
Hatfield head coach Nick Juba thought it was a sensational swim by Brown.
"His heat was excellent but his final (47.75s) was the fastest ever 100 metres swim by a Briton," said Juba.
"He now has a chance of swimming the freestyle leg in the medley team later in the week."
American swimming sensation Michael Phelps, who is chasing an incredible eight golds, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak obliterated the world and Olympic record with an astonishing time of 3 mins 08.24 secs to beat the French to the Olympic gold by 0.08.
Australia took the bronze in 3 mins 09.91 secs as the top five all went under the one-day old world record set by the Americans in the heats on Sunday.
Italy and Sweden were fourth and fifth respectively.
Canada were only a fraction outside the USA's Sunday time as well, such was the quality and speed of the final event of today's morning session at the National Aquatics Centre.
In fact, the British quartet featuring Brown on the second leg would have struck gold at the Athens Olympics just four years ago with their time.
Their reaction was: "It was a fantastic swim; we were on world record pace.
"It's just a shame that the teams who won the medals were four seconds ahead of us,"
The world record was again lowered to 3:08.24 in a nail-biting finish that saw the USA narrowly edge out the French team of Amaury Leveaux, Fabien Gilot, Frederick Bousquet and Alain Bernard.
With that sort of pace in the middle lanes, the Brits were never likely to claim a medal from lane eight.
Wycombe swimmer Burnett, however, got the British four off to an impressive start with an opening leg of 48.34 seconds.
Brown dived into the water in sixth place and held that over his two lengths of the 50m pool with a stunning performance.
The 19-year-old Hatfield swimmer clocked the best split of the British four with a super-fast 47.75 seconds.
Swansea swimmer Ben Hockin recorded 48.50 secs and City of Edinburgh's Ross Davenport brought the team home in 48.28.
Brown was the youngest member of the British quartet and is coached by Juba at the Hertfordshire Sports Village pool in Hatfield.
He became the second Hatfield club swimmer to compete in the Olympics when he dived into the water.
Mike Fibbens is the only previous Hatfield member to have competed at the Olympics.
Richard Charlesworth will become the third when he competes in the 1,500m freestyle later this week.
Fibbens was a member of the 4x100m freestyle relay team that ironically also broke the then British record in the heats of the 1996 Atlanta Games in America.
To put the current British quartet's time into perspective, the 1996 GB four clocked 3 mins 21.34 secs in the heats - over eight seconds slower than Brown and Co achieved in the Beijing pool.