Synchro swimmers announce retirement
6 August 2013
Seven of the current British Gas GBR Synchronised Swimming Team are saying goodbye to the sport that they have competed in for almost a decade.
Jenna Randall, Olivia Federici, Asha Randall, Katie Clark, Vicki Lucass, Yvette Baker and Sam Wilson made the decision after the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
Britain’s number one Jenna Randall has competed at every level of competition and has helped the sport take steps forward to becoming one of the most promising in the country. She competed alongside Federici in the Duet and stood on the podium at two Commonwealth Games.
"Synchro has been my life, I love the sport and I am very grateful for all the amazing experiences it has given me," - Jenna Randall“It has been a hard decision for me but I have decided to retire from the synchro HPC,” Randall said. “Synchro has been my life, I love the sport and I am very grateful for all the amazing experiences it has given me.
“Becoming triple silver Commonwealth medallist, competing at two Olympics, and now being top eight in the world have been the biggest highlights of my career. British Synchro wouldn't be where they are today if it wasn't for our coach and National Performance Director Biz Price and I hope the next generation of young synchro swimmers will experience and carry on the legacy of our sport
“I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me through my career, especially my family. Without the amazing team I have behind me I wouldn't have achieved so much in my sport. I have retired as an athlete but I will always be supporting my sport and there to help out.”
Federici added: “After an extraordinary seven years of being a senior British synchro athlete it is time to hang up my nose clip. I have decided to retire because I want to take up a new challenge and have a new adventure.
"I have loved being part of a very special team made up of a group of people who have a unique and in-depth understanding of one another," - Olivia Federici“It has been a privilege competing for Great Britain as a synchro athlete. I have loved being part of a very special team made up of a group of people who have a unique and in-depth understanding of one another. The synchro girls I have trained with over the years have become like family and I will miss seeing them everyday very much.
“The highlights of my career include standing on the podium with a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and competing at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games; the crowd in London was unforgettable.
“I have really enjoyed this last year of competition with my duet partner, we had some of our best swims at the World Championships and I particularly enjoyed working with the Japanese coach Masayo Imura.
“But most of all I will take away all those little quirky memories and experiences I have had, the people I have met, and the lessons I have learnt as these things are what made the hard work and journey worthwhile.
“I would like to thank all those many people who have helped me and had an impact on me and my career from club to international squad level. British Synchro has come a long way in the last seven years and I am proud I have been a part of that. I wish the new squad all the best for the future. Let’s go GB.”
For Asha Randall, Clark, Baker, Lucass and Wilson, their focus over the years has been the Team and Combination events and they all competed in both Team events at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“It has been a great honour to represent my country for so many years,” said Asha Randall, who made up a second Duet pair throughout 2013 with Clark. “My highlights have definitely been competing in three senior World Championships, an Olympic Games and the amazing coaches and staff I have been able to work with.
"I have chosen to retire from competitive synchronised swimming as I feel that it is time to go out and experience new things," - Asha Randall“I have chosen to retire from competitive synchronised swimming as I feel that it is time to go out and experience new things. I am so thankful to all the staff for all the hard work they have put into making me the best athlete I could be, predominantly Biz Price and Lolli Montico for enabling me to achieve my dream of competing at a home Olympic Games.
“I have grown so much through my years as an athlete and have so many great memories I will take away with me, I have made lifelong friends and had some unforgettable experiences. Synchronised swimming will always be a part of my life and I will forever follow the sport and help out at my club Rushmoor and the British squad whenever I can.”
Clark added: “I am extremely grateful for the experiences I have had as part of British Synchro High Performance Centre over the years. It is a centre for excellence in which all members; athletes and staff, strive for perfection in every way.
“I now feel, however, it is time for me to move on and accept new challenges. These challenges are mainly ones I have had to sacrifice to be an elite full-time athlete from the age of 15.
“It has been a difficult decision for me to make considering I have been in the sport for 12 years now. I feel lucky to have been able to have such great support from British Synchro, British Swimming, British Gas, Speedo, GLL and mainly UK Sport lottery funding, who have been the big investors for our development in synchronised swimming.
“I have achieved my dream of competing at the highest level in sport and all of these sponsors plus the public support have helped to make it possible, and for that I cannot thank you enough. Let the legacy continue. I hope you will be able help fund and make other athletes’ dreams come true as you have with mine.”
“Having reached my goal of representing Great Britain in synchronised swimming, especially at World Championship and Olympic level, I feel I am ready to explore new areas and start something new,” said Baker, who competed for Team GB at London 2012 last year.
“Over the last 12 years I have been involved with synchro I have had a lot of support from various organisations to whom I am extremely grateful. These are my club, City of Birmingham, TASS, AASE, UK Sport lottery funding, British Gas, BMW Sytner, British Synchro, EIS staff and Speedo.
“During my time with British Synchro I have had the opportunity to develop my skills through meeting and competing with the best in the world.
“The experiences I have had will stay with me forever. My proudest moment is definitely competing at the Olympic Games in London and standing on the platform after we had performed, in front of our friends and family who had come to support us. I have built strong connections with my fellow teammates and the people who I have been around over the past four years and I know that these will continue.
"Achieving my dream of competing at the Olympics was the most amazing experience of my life which I will always remember," - Vicki Lucass“It has been a tough decision for me as I love the sport so much but I know that I am ready to move on to other things. I would not have been able to achieve any of this without the support of my family, especially my parents and to them I am eternally grateful.”
“It was a very hard decision for me to make,” said Lucass, who joined the High Performance Centre in 2007 and was one of the first athletes to experience the new centralised model.
“I love the sport and have been doing it for 16 years but I have decided that it is time to move on from synchro.
“I want to take on new challenges and experience new things. I am very grateful for the amazing opportunities I have had and being able to compete for my country. Achieving my dream of competing at the Olympics was the most amazing experience of my life which I will always remember.”
Wilson added: “I've really enjoyed my career in synchro and have had so many unforgettable experiences. Competing at the World Championships was amazing and worth every minute of training and hard work put into the preparation.
“I feel it is now the right time to move on and try new challenges which I'm very excited about. I'm sure that the skills I've learnt through being a world class synchronised swimmer will help me in many aspects of my future life, so I'm incredibly grateful to everyone, especially coaches, team staff and sponsors who have helped me along my journey.”