British youngsters reach Team Free final

23rd July 2013

Britain’s new-look synchronised swimming team performed beyond their years to reach the final of the Team Free event on day four of the 2013 World Championships.

With four of the eight swimmers competing at their first senior Championships, and three of them just 15 years old, the Brits impressed to score 82.510 for their 'Peter Pan' routine.

The British Gas GBR Synchronised Swimming Team - comprising of London 2012 Olympians Yvette Baker, Vicki Lucass, Katie Clark and Asha Randall as well as newcomers Amy Campbell, Lucy Bowes, Sam Wilson and Jodie Cowie – performed the same routine as the Olympics but with amendments to the lifts and elements.

With Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici only competing in the Duet and Solo, the new athletes stepped up to show they could compete with some of the best in the world.

They qualified for the final in 11th place and will compete in Friday’s final a first for half of the team.

“That was a really good swim for us,” Randall said. “More than 50 per cent of the team is just 15 so we’re a really young team and we’ve got great potential for Rio and onwards.

“I’m sure there’ll be quite a few things to work on – there always is because we’re not perfect. But the lifts worked really well which is good and it just felt really synchronised which is another plus.

“Before we swam, I got us in a huddle and told the younger ones it was just like training and to treat it like that. The only difference is that we’re wearing sparkly costumes so I think that really calmed them down.”

Meanwhile, Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici finished ninth in the Duet Free prelims to reach their second final of the 2013 World Championships.

Performing the first routine of the day, the British pair scored 87.680 for their ‘ravens’ routine which they originally choreographed for last year’s Olympic Games.

The Brits finished ninth with the same routine at London 2012 but have been working with former Japanese and Chinese national coach Masayo Imura to improve for this season.

“We did a really good swim. We were a bit worried about swimming first but it was a great swim and our coaches were really happy,” said Randall, who was competing for the sixth time in four days.

“We changed the beginning of this routine since the Olympics. We’re now starting with a lift to really give an impact at the start.

“Working with Masayo, we’ve simplified some things so we can show more accent, height and definition in the routine. At the Olympics, it was great but perhaps too fast because the judges couldn’t see all the things we were doing.

“So we’ve slowed it down a little bit to show the great movements and make it easier for the judges.”