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Transition Time: Duet competition

10th May 2013

Asha Randall made her Olympic debut as part of Team GB at London 2012 last year. This season she’s competing as a duet with Katie Clark as well as part of the team.

GERMAN OPEN

On March 5 we travelled to the German Open for mine and Katie’s first Duet competition of the year! There was only a small team of us - Lolli was our coach and Adele also came with us for her last ever competition as the Great Britain synchro team manager.

The German Open is quite a small competition but countries from all around the world compete and this year there were teams from France, Austria, Ukraine, Poland and two teams from China. There were also duets from a number of other countries including Australia and Argentina.

We had two training days before the meet started with the Duet tech swims kicking off the competition. Our swim went well and we met our goals. Day two was the Free duet prelims. This swim went really well and Lolli was really pleased. The British judge even said it was a much better swim than our tech the day before and we looked strong – the only thing she wanted to see more from us was our eye contact with the judges and our presentation while we are doing choreography on our back, to really stretch and extend on the surface to look stronger and higher out of the water.

She wanted to see more eye countact with the judges and to really stretch and extend on the surface to look stronger and higher out of the water.

Last day of the meet was the duet free final event. Our competition warm up went well and all countries even managed to have music time which was a play of your music all the way through once. This was helpful to our preparation as we could really warm up our muscles and lungs being able to swim with the music and use the whole pool. When it came to the comp swim we were ready and the swim went well. We were a lot more tired than the day before and that did show towards the end of the routine but we still attacked it and ended up in third place!

This was our first ever international medal as a duet so it was a huge accomplishment for us. Lolli and Adele were both very happy and proud of our performances as well.

After the meet we had two days off to recover and then it was right back into training with the GB team, with a little bit of duet training on the side to start preparations again for the British Gas Championships that were coming up in a few weeks’ time. It’s not too tricky having to bounce back and forth from duet training and team, you just have to make sure you know your plan and schedule before you get to the pool in the morning so there’s no confusion or wasted time from not knowing where to be when.

SHEFFIELD

On the 12 April we travelled by car with Biz (Price, NPD) to Sheffield. It was a four-hour drive from Aldershot and as soon as we arrived we had to straight away go to the pool for some training and our music time.

The Open part of the competition only had two other countries entered in it – Canada, who had a solo and duet and also the Netherlands who just entered a solo.

The competition started on the 13th and we had a short session in the morning to prepare for the Duet tech comp before we then went back to the hotel to rest, have lunch and gelatine our hair ready for the competition. The tech comp went well for us and we improved our marks from Germany which was our main goal! Biz was pleased with the swim and also Isabelle Rampling said it was a really good swim and she was impressed. Isabelle is the new GB junior coach originally from Canada and swam in the duet and team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The second and the last day of the Open was the free duet swim and this day was being streamed which was amazing to hear! Apparently there were views from all around the world from America to Egypt so that was really great to know that people were interested and logged on!

In this event the Canadians had pulled out their free duet so for Katie and I this competition was now totally ours for the taking! We had a really good swim and after the whole event we had lots of coaches, judges, swimmers, parents and even the music men saying how great our swim was and that we really looked good as a pair. Biz again was pleased with our swim and we again marked higher than in Germany.

My aunty had never seen me swim live before so it was really great that she could come and watch.

It was great being able to compete in Sheffield along with all the clubs, seeing the improvements to the swimmers. My club Rushmoor retained the British title which was just amazing and I was very proud of them. Carolyn Macdonald and Louise Woolley have done some great work with the girls and I was really impressed with the choreography of the teams.

It was nice to see Canada compete in the duet event and for us to watch them and compare our choreography and work out our weaknesses and also our strengths over them.

It definitely would have been good to have more countries entered into the Open competition so hopefully in years to come more countries will send their teams to use this meet.

My parents came to Sheffield for the weekend to watch my two swims and also my aunty travelled from Manchester on the Sunday with her friends to come and support me which was really nice. She had never seen me swim live before so it was really great she could come and watch!

Since we’ve been back from Sheffield we had a day out with British Gas where they took us out for lunch in London and then they took us to the Pineapple dance studios and we had a dance lesson with one of their dancer/choreographers which was absolutely amazing!

We did a quick warm up and then learnt a dance. The whole afternoon was a great laugh and an amazing experience and we were so grateful to British Gas for organising it for us!

A SPECIAL SURPRISE

Just recently Jenna, myself, Vicki and Olivia were honoured with being appointed honouree life members of the Rushmoor Synchronised Swimming Club for our hard work, success and representing Team GB and our club Rushmoor at the 2012 Olympic Games.

This was totally out of the blue and such a surprise. It’s an amazing role to be appointed and we were all so honoured and grateful for this to be given to us!

NEXT COMP FOR TEAM AND DUET

The team are now preparing for the Spanish Open which is in about  five weeks time and then we will be heading to Malta for our pre-World camp before moving on to Barcelona for the World Championships.

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