City of Bristol’s Kate Shortman was one of the stand-out stars at the ASA National Synchronised Swimming Championships, topping the podium in the Junior Figures, the Free Solo and the Free Duet, as well as wowing the crowds with some sensational team performances with the GB squad.
AquaZone caught up with the 14 year old following the competition, as she prepares for next month’s European Aquatics Championships in London…
Training and Competition
How did you feel this month’s ASA Nationals went?
I was very pleased with my performances on the weekend and I am very happy that all my hard work has paid off. The training up to champs was intense and demanding but it was definitely all worth it!
What is your main focus in training at the moment?
My main focus in training at the moment is flexibility because that is something which separates me from top international swimmers. It will also help to improve my routine swimming and figures if I get flat splits in the pool.
How are you preparing for the upcoming European Championships?
I had a small break after the ASA champs, but now I am back in training with extra enthusiasm and energy. The GB team have a week’s training camp at Crystal Palace in London before travelling to the Senior Europeans and we are all very excited to be the hosts!
What are your hopes and expectations for the Europeans?
I hope that I do a good swim and make my country proud! I am particularly nervous for our pre-swim off duet because we know the standard will be very high. We want people to notice us and see how much we have improved since last year. We want to see our marks from international judges and take in feedback which will help us in preparation for our other internationals this year. I am also really hoping to see Tom Daley!!
What are you most looking forward to at the Europeans?
I am looking forward to swimming in front of the home crowd and seeing them cheering. I also love putting on gel, makeup and a nice costume and pushing myself to do a good swim.
What’s the best thing about synchro?
You feel like part of a family and all my teammates are like my 'synchro sisters'!
…And the worst?
The feeling when you do a really long figure in a routine and feel like your lungs might explode!! However, I always know my teammates are going through the same thing so it makes it more bearable.
What qualities do you have that make you as good as you are?
I am very competitive and determined which always pushes me to be a better swimmer. I am willing to make sacrifices to go training, which others may not be prepared to do.
What would you say is the hardest move that you do in the pool?
Continuous spins are hard because you have to squeeze all your muscles, stay in a straight vertical line, and it can easily make you feel very dizzy!
If you could pick a piece of music to do a routine to, what would it be?
Happy pieces of music are always more fun to swim to, so probably something upbeat and lively!
Tip for the top!
Enjoy it! If you love it, you will improve quicker, because you will be more ready to take on corrections and make yourself a better swimmer.