Trafford crowned National Team Champions
2 May 2010
The final day of competition at the British Gas Synchronised Swimming Championships 2010 saw the medals for the Team and Solo events decided.
The Team Free routine saw Trafford take the victory with a strong performance that saw them crowned British Champions for the first time since 2008.
The Michael Jackson inspired routine saw Trafford show off their creativity and power through the water. Their figures had intensity throughout the programme and they increased their points score with a number of difficult highlights.
They won the title with a score of 66.700.
“We all really loved it,” Melissa Halliwell said. “The routine is so much fun. And we chose it because it is so upbeat and we can really interpret the music. It is so good to win gold. It feels like all of our hard work has paid off this weekend.
“We wanted to go out and perform well for our coaches. They work so hard so we wanted to give them something back. It has been a great moment for all of us.”
Bristol Central took to the platform with a Slumdog Millionaire inspired routine and they showcased creative pattern formations to secure the second place.
The team had excellent height on their second lift and finished the routine with a difficult straight line figure. They scored sixes to take them to the silver medal with a total score of 66.550.
Reading Royals took the final place on the podium as they won the bronze medal with a good routine. They scored a total of 62.600.
Beijing Water Cube impressed once again in the British Gas Open with an impressive performance that saw them demonstrate their skill and power in their Team Free Routine.
Their routine was full of complex figures. They executed near perfect pattern transitions and gained impressive height on their lifts. They performed a fast cadence to showcase their stamina and fitness.
The team finished with a total score of 90.950 to win the gold medal.
The British team, powered by British Gas, had an excellent start to their routine with a split lift that gave Asha Randall the opportunity to showcase her flexibility.
The Brits had excellent intensity throughout their routine as they impressed the crowd in Gloucester with their War of the Worlds inspired programme.
They showed excellent height in their double leg movements and on their final lift. They finished to applause from the crowd and they scored a total of 85.800 to win the silver medal.
“That was a fantastic routine,” Lauren Smith said. “It was great to finish our competition with that routine. We were drawn last and I think it was nice for the crowd to see us on last.
“All of the highlights worked and I think that our new routine was rewarded well by the judges. The new routine is incredibly hard. We have worked hard on training and as we get closer to London 2012 we are going to continue to make changes to the routine to increase its difficulty.”
The SSD Village team executed a passionate and creative routine as they won bronze in the routine with a score of 69.350.
Rushmoor’s Lauren Smith took gold in the Solo Free Routine Final with a complex routine that saw her begin with a strong explosive figure.
Smith demonstrated strong leg movements throughout the routine showing off her flexibility and height out of the water.
Scoring 84.300 Smith has met the selection criteria for the Scottish Commonwealth Games team and now stands in a good place, if selected, to reach the podium in Dehli.
“I was really focussed making sure I got everything correct,” said Smith. “Now it’s over I’m pleased that the pressure is off me a little bit. I’ve never had a score that high before so it’s good to know I’m improving.
“The feedback after the Technical Routine was that my abilities have improved a lot so I just hope that I can keep that improvement up looking toward Europeans and the Commonwealth Games.”
Silver went to Trafford’s Sarah Spears whose fast spins and flexibility earned her 70.250.
Bethany Dearlove of Reading Royals took bronze after scoring 69.050 with a routine that demonstrated good height out of the water and speed around the pool.
China’s Huang Xuechen claimed gold in the British Gas Open after high scores from the judges.
Xuechen showed lots of energy during the performance and some excellent ascending spins to earn 94.400.
Smith claimed silver for Great Britain.
The bronze medal was awarded to SSD Village who impressed with a score of 78.150.
On the competition National Performance Director Biz Price commented: “The goal for the national team was for us to give our younger athletes some competition experience. We have had our successes and some areas that we can improve on but it was really important for them to get experience.
“I put them under stress and they have learnt from this weekend. This is all a learning curve as the team develops but I believe they will build on their experiences.
“I was really pleased with the Free Duet. That was good. The girls performed it well. And I am really pleased that Lauren met the qualification criteria for the Scottish Commonwealth Games.
“I think it has been really good for the clubs to have had the international teams to compete against. They have had full training in the pool throughout every day of the competition and it has been good for them to have that opportunity.
“They have also had the opportunity to have music practice before the competition. This is an important part of competition because you need to know how everything will work in the pool. It has also been good to have China and Italy here.”
For full results from the competition CLICK HERE