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Synchro duets recognised at ASA Aquatics Awards

Four synchronised swimmers were recognised at the ASA Aquatics Awards which took place in the Great Hall at the University of Birmingham.

Olivia Federici and Katie Clark won Performance Athletes of the Year while Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe were named England Programmes Synchro Swimmers of the Year.

Federici and Clarke came out of retirement and resumed training at the end of 2015. In March 2016, the English swimmers secured their spot at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

They finished eighth in the Duet Free at the European Aquatics Championships in London and then 17th competing against the best in the world at the Olympic Games.

After receiving the award, Reading Royals’ Clark, said: “The journey to Rio was great. We have had so much support from Karen Thorpe and Katie our coach, and the whole journey along was fantastic.”

Rushmoor-based Federici added: “Synchro is such an incredible sport, and it is really important that we keep supporting that.”

Shortman and Thorpe are rising stars

Shortman and Thorpe also won an award at the ceremony after an outstanding year in junior international competition.

The City of Bristol pair secured a top 10 finish at the European Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships in July. They also impressed to be in medal contention at the prestigious Comen Cup, ultimately finishing fifth.

Thorpe said: “We work really well together and we have known each other for so long. We just have a great bond. I think having that bond makes us swim really well together.”

Shortman added: “Our main goal now is Tokyo 2020, competing at the Olympics is our dream. It has been our dream for years. We just want to get there and show everyone that with hard work, we can get there.”

2016 Paralympic S6 50m Butterfly champion Ellie Robinson and 2016 Olympic diving bronze medallist Daniel Goodfellow presented the awards.

Jane Nickerson, interim Chief Executive of the ASA, said: “We have many fantastic people involved in our sport and the annual Aquatics Awards are our opportunity to recognise the great contribution our volunteers, teachers, coaches and partners make every day.

“The Awards is also an opportunity to celebrate the many achievements within the aquatics community. From the individuals who have overcome personal obstacles to learn how to swim, to the athletes who have represented their clubs and country.

“All our nominees are great ambassadors for our sport and it is wonderful to be able to recognise their achievements.”

  • Click here to view all of the award winners on the ASA Aquatics Awards page.