There was a new name on top of the podium last year as Corrie Leech took a clean sweep of the Free Solo, Duet and Team titles at the 2014 British Synchronised Swimming Championships.
The Bristol Central swimmer came into the senior nationals on the back of winning the Solo title in the top age group of the 2013 ASA National Age Group Championships in December.
And there was no stopping her continuing her form as she scored 69.1667 to win the Free Solo title on day one before adding the Duet Free crown with Elise Denner then scoring an impressive 71.8667 with her Bristol teammates to add the Team Free title to their Team Tech gold from the opening day.
Q: What are your memories of the 2014 British Champs?
I think the best memory I have from British Champs 2014 is finding out we had won golds on both free and tech teams and then finally knowing we’d won the overall gold. That feeling is the definitely the reason I love this sport!
Q: Did you expect to be challenging for golds in both the solo and duet?
In my solo and duet I knew we’d have a good chance of getting gold but it still meant we had to put everything into our routines in order to achieve it, which was great when we did get gold!
Q: How long had you been working on the routines ahead of the competition?
Our training on our British Champs routines started as soon as possible, straight after NAGs at the beginning of December. So, just before Christmas we start learning new choreography of routines or recapping the routines we did the previous year. We tend to put in between 10-14 hours a week of training.
Q: How were your nerves before the competition started?
Last year on the Saturday I was feeling really unwell with a heavy cold, so having this, plus nerves of swimming the routines, it was a difficult day to cope with, but by the end of the day I felt very proud of myself because I achieved my goals of getting gold medals.
I definitely slept well that night from being very tired, and on the Sunday morning I felt I had to keep my roommate calm because she was nervous due to the fact that I wasn’t feeling 100% well! I think this actually helped with my nerves.
Q: What were your emotions on the Sunday?
By the end of Sunday I was exhausted but I knew I’d done my best by winning free team and individually winning overall. I was very proud of my team mates because I felt we did one of our best swims and our coach said the same afterwards.
I think I actually felt more nervous knowing we’d already won other events that we had more pressure to do well and wanted to finish on a high so I found the free routine one of the hardest as I really pushed myself but it was worth it in the end.
Q: Was standing on top of the podium one of the proudest moments of your career?
It was definitely one of my proudest moments as my club hasn’t won the Redwood trophy for a quite a few years and to share it with my team mates, coaches and supporters was a great feeling.
Q: How did you celebrate after the competition on the Sunday?
We celebrated by pushing our coaches in the pool which was fun! But it didn’t last for long as a couple of my teammates and I had to then attend an junior England training camp! Which personally wasn’t the best way to spend the evening!
Q: How are the senior nationals different to NAGs? Is there more pressure?
At NAGs there are a lot more competitors from all different clubs around the country so this can be quite stressful. However, senior nationals I feel is much more intense because it involves many routines in one day and tougher competition.
Q: What are your targets for this year’s Champs?
This year I am competing in the three team routines, and my target is to achieve gold medals and retain the clubs national title. After competing for England juniors last year, I have been concentrating more on my studies so I’m only able to do team routines this year. But our training is going very well and I’m really looking forward to competing again.