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Bristol Central medal hat-trick on NAG Synchro day one

The opening day of the ASA National Age Group Championships 2015 saw a hat-trick of medals for Bristol Central and a sensational display from the England Programmes Synchro Training Squad 2016.

This year sees the highest number of entries ever received, with more than 700 competitors from 31 clubs across the country competing at the GL1 Leisure Centre in Gloucester.

Bristol Central SC kicked off the opening session of Championships with gold in the Recreational 12yrs and under Free Combination.

The 12 Bristol swimmers impressed in the first event of the Championships, claiming the title with a score of 55.0000 for their high tempo routine to Deee Lite’s ‘Groove is in the Heart’.

Rushmoor Synchro SC took silver with 54.3333, while Midlanders City of Birmingham SC joined them on the podium with 54.1667 for bronze.

18/19yrs Duet

The Recreational 18/19yrs Duet had only one set of competitors, Amelia Edwards and Stephanie Ridge. They finished with a score of 55.8333 for the gold medal.

After their performance, Ridge commented: “Yeah we’re happy with that score. We’re also competing in the team event later so this was a great way to warm up.”

Recreational 13-14yrs Combination

Bristol Central won their second gold of the Championships in Recreational 13-14 Yrs Combination event.

The 12-strong team scored 58.6667 for their expressive routine, matching their score from last year’s Championships and securing their second consecutive 13-14yrs title.

“It feels really exciting to win,” said Caitlin Bateman. “It makes me really happy but it also make the whole team come together as one big family.

“We definitely didn’t expect to win as we were weren’t totally confident with the ending of our routine but we just decided to give it everything we had and thankfully it worked.”

Grace King added: “We are such a close team and are all really good friends. I think it is really important that we have that relationship because it allows us to swim better as a team.”

While Rushmoor Synchro SC had only half as many swimmers, they circus inspired routine impressed the judges and the scored 53.3333 for silver. Halifax SC landed their second medal of the day with bronze on 57.0000.

England Programme Display

Ten members of the England Programmes Synchro Training Squad put on a special display before the final two events of the day, with an energetic and intense routine to a dramatic orchestral piece.

The team, which included England Programmes Synchronised Swimming Athletes of the Year, Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe, showcased the skills required to compete at the highest levels in Synchronised Swimming. The team had great artistic interpretation and pacing to the music and made excellent use of the pool.

After the performance Shortman said: “Display performances like this are really important. It really helps us to prepare for the major competitions coming up seeing everyone cheering us on really spurs you on to keep training hard.”

Thorpe added: “I really hope we are able to inspire the swimmers here today and that our performances can encourage people to do join in and enjoy this really fun sport!”

Recreational 19yrs and under Combination

City of Salford took the top spot in the Recreational 19 yrs and under Combination event, sailing past both Rushmoor and Reading with their ‘Zorba the Greek’ inspired routine. They finished with 59.8333 points.

Reading Royals SSC, whose Alton Towers themed routine performed in part to ‘Hall of the Mountain King’, got the crown on their feet to cheer on the eight strong team. They were just behind Salford with 59.5000. Rushmoor Synchro followed up in third with 58.6667 for their interpretation of the Pendulum song ‘Watercolour’.

Recreational 15-17yrs Combination

Halifax topped the podium in the final event of the day, posting a score of 59.1667 to take the Recreational 15-17yrs Combination title.

Turning the tables on last year’s performance where they took silver, the team from West Yorkshire performed an energetic but precise routine to Daft Punk’s ‘Technologic’.

Bristol Central scooped their third and final medal of the day, taking silver after scoring 59.1667 for their dramatic routine, while Walsall Synchronised SC took the final place on the rostrum with a score of 58.3333.