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Adele Carlsen - review of the Synchro World Cup

20 September, 2010
The British Synchro squad, powered by British Gas, have just finished competing in the Synchronised Swimming World Cup in Changshu, China. In this update, High Performance Manager Adele Carlsen reviews an encouraging performance from the British team and looks to the Commonwealth Games for four of the athletes.

Overall, we are pleased with how the World Cup went for the British team.

We pulled together and showed how much of a step forward we have taken since the European Championships a month ago

Jenna’s (Randall) performance in the Solo event brought the highest result for us, eventually finishing an impressive sixth. Jenna has been out of the water for most of 2010 with a back injury but, despite having not competed in a major solo meet this year, she showed the synchro world she is still very much a force to be reckoned with.

Many judges and coaches commented afterwards on how much Jenna has improved in the past 12 months and with the Commonwealth Games in Delhi only a couple of weeks away, it will be another chance for her to shine on the big stage.

The Duet was the first event for us with Jenna and Olivia (Allison) competing. Because of Jenna's injury, the pair haven't been able to put as many hours into the programmes as normal but showed the judges how they have been able to overcome that challenge with a great free routine swim which was fast paced and packed with lots of content.

The pair suffered a slight set back in the technical programme with an uncharacteristically below-par performance but were able to learn from that and are ready to go to India in a couple of weeks fighting for medals.

The Team was the final event in the competition and the British team athletes were all chomping at the bit to compete having spent the last seven days working hard on their routines in Changshu.

They were competing without Jenna and also without Cherry Wilson who had to pull out three weeks ago due to illness. But they pulled together and showed how much of a step forward they have taken with a stronger performance than at the European Championships a month ago.

A solid technical performance in the morning left them only 0.1 points behind Brazil in ninth place. This was a huge improvement on the World Championships in 2009 where GB finished a disappointing 15th in the technical programme.

Luck was on our side when we drew the best place for the free programme order of swim. In synchro there is a random draw for the order of appearance for the prelims then the final draws are done on the ranking from the prelims so you are grouped in with your nearest competitors. They bucket the final draw in groups of six.

The GB team swam superbly in the final and beat the Brazilians by a mark on the free, taking the Brits ahead in the overall ranking so they finished eighth. Even if Spain and France had competed, this would still have placed Britain in the top ten. Last year at the Worlds, if you combined the technical and free scores from China, we would have finished 12th.

Russia dominated most of the events in China but the hosts seized their opportunity to grab gold in the Duet in the absence of a Russian entry. The event did miss Spain not being there but with China taking another three medals to go with their gold, there was a good atmosphere throughout from the sell-out crowd.

Four of our athletes (Jenna, Olivia, Asha Randall and Lauren Smith) will return to training on Wednesday to prepare for the Commonwealth Games and we fly out to Doha again next Monday for our pre-competition camp.

The rest of the team will now have their ‘summer’ break before returning to the High Performance Centre in Aldershot in three weeks ready for the British trials and a new season of training.

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