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Historic European Games for Team GB ends with two more bronze medals

A historic European Games for Great Britain’s artistic swimmers ended with two more bronze medals at the weekend.

Tokyo 2020 Olympians Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe delivered a first British European medal in a Women’s duet for 30 years whilst Ranjuo Tomblin and Beatrice Crass added the Mixed Free bronze to claim their second medal of the Games in Poland.

It was a super Saturday for the GB team with both medals coming in Saturday’s evening session.

It began with Shortman and Thorpe’s historic bronze in the Duet Free final.

Following their fifth place finish in the Technical Duet final on Thursday, Shortman and Thorpe made sure they weren’t leaving Rzenow without a medal thanks to an exceptional display.

They improved on their score from the preliminaries by more than 15 points as they moved up two places to clinch a spot on the podium.

Shortman and Thorpe received no base marks on their 34.500 degree of difficulty as they scored 135.9584 for elements and 87.5500 for artistic impression.

That gave them an impressive total of 223.5084 points for their routine to finish more than 20 points ahead of fourth placed Israel.

The two teams of twins – Ukraine’s Maryna and Vladyslava Aleksiiva (232.8438) and Austria’s Anna-Marie and Erini Marina Alexandri (255.9501) – were the only pairs that finished above a GB duet who were thrilled with their performance.

“We’re just literally over the moon.” Thorpe said.

“For us this is everything we’ve been working towards achieving since we were younger and every time until now we’ve missed out on that medal by margins so this [bronze medal] is amazing.”

It puts the duo in a strong position as they look to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris where they are determined to get themselves on the podium once again.

Shortman added: “Yeah we’ve started here, next we want that Olympic medal and we’re going to fight for it and absolutely train our socks off to try and get there.

“We’ve got a taste of it today and I can tell that we’re both so motivated. We have a new coach, we have the new rule changes and they suit us perfectly so we’re really excited for the future.”

Tomblin and Crass’ add a second bronze to their collection

The day then got even better for Team GB as Ranjuo Tombin and Beatrice Crass took to the pool to win their third bronze in the Mixed Free Duet final.

Tomblin and Crass had already made history by competing and then winning bronze in the Technical Duet on Thursday but they went a step further as they medalled for the second time in three days.

Performing last on the starting order the pair produced a clean routine to impress the judging panel with a total score 163.9688.

They scored 85.0688 for elements and 78.9000 as they finished around just eight points short of the silver medal.

Spain’s Dennis Boneu Gonzalez and Mireia Luna Hernandez (210.3918) won gold with Italy’s Giorgio Minisini and Lucrezia Ruggiero (171.9874) finishing as the runners up.

Reacting to their second medal winning routine of the Games, Crass said:  “We’re really pleased and so grateful that all the training paid off.

“To get two routines through this competition with no base marks is just a dream that we really wanted to achieve.

“It was definitely a very inspiring moment [to see Kate and Izzy perform before us], we went upstairs to watch them from the balcony with all our teammates and felt the energy for them.”

Tomblin echoed his partner’s sentiment and reflected on what has been an ‘unbelievable week’ for the pair.

He added: “Watching them do such an amazing swim was really motivating as we always look up to them in training, and think to ourselves ‘wow that’s so cool, we want to be able to perform like them’. Definitely really inspiring to be able to train with them and for us to witness them do so well.

“It’s been honestly unbelievable this week – I don’t think we came to this competition thinking we would medal.”

Team GB also competed across the team events with some strong performances.

Great Britain finished fifth in both the Acrobatic Routine and Team Free events with an eighth placed finish in the Team Technical.

Eleanor Blinkhorn, Isobel Blinkhorn, Millie Costello, Isobel Davies, Cerys Hughes, Aimee Lawrence, Daniella Lloyd and Robyn Swatman made up the team with Crass joining them for the Team Free event, Thorpe for the Acrobatic competition, and both athletes a part of the team in the Technical.

It was a week of vital international experience for the group who got the opportunity to showcase their new routines in international competition. It was also the first time that they had taken part in the acrobatic event.

You can find all the results from the artistic swimming events on the European Games website.

Images – British Swimming