We’ve recently had our first training session back after our competition in Istanbul two weeks ago. It was our first international competition as a new team and it was very successful!
It was a qualification event towards the first European Games in Baku this June. In order to qualify we had to place in the top six overall, with all events counting towards the final placing.
The first two days we were out in Istanbul were for training so we could get used to the pool and surroundings as it was bigger than the pool we train in so we were practising traveling all around the pool, as well as each country having a certain amount of music time to practice their routine.
The competition began on Thursday, with the solo event, which was swum by Gen Randall and she placed seventh.
Friday afternoon was my first swim of the competition, the free combination team event, swimming alongside Hannah Randall, Esme Lower, Emma Critchley, Jorja Brown, Lara Hockin, Phoebe Bradley-Smith, Genevieve Randall, Danielle Cooper and Rebecca Richardson – it was great to swim our first routine with all ten of us together.
The routine was themed around dolls and the crowd seemed to really enjoy it! It’s a really enjoyable routine to swim because it’s artistic – there are lots of changes in tempo and different facial expressions.
It’s important to really exaggerate presentation in synchro so that the judges, and the whole audience can see it! We came fourth in the combo, with a score of 74.1667, just behind the host nation with Belarus and France filling the top two spots.
Saturday morning was the figure competition. We had to compete the two compulsory figures – porpoise and rocket split, as well as group 2 – manta ray and butterfly. The figure scores were to be combined with the result from the solo, free team and free duet to give them an overall score.
Well done to Jorja who finished as our top swimmer in seventh place :). That afternoon we did some training in preparation for the free duet and free team the next day, as well as some video review from practice on previous days.
The last day of the competition began with the free duet event, swum by myself and Gen, with Emma as reserve. We were really pleased with our swim and now know what we need to improve to push our score up. We finished in sixth place with a routine score of 75.8667.
The competition ended with the free team event and the whole team was really driven as we were fighting for a bronze medal.
The routine was strong and we knew we had to go out and attack it, swimming with high intensity and accuracy. We finished the event in third place meaning we were going to receive a bronze medal!
It was an amazing end to a great competition, and standing up on the podium to receive our bronze medal was a great feeling!
The competiton was not only succesful because we qualified for the European Games, but also because as a team we were very supportive of each other, everybody each gave their best effort and I felt priveleged to be captain of such a great team.
Looking forward, the duet squad is training toward the Olympic qualification event next year. Our next competition is the Japan Open coming up in May and then we will be training with the squad towards selection for the Baku European Games.