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British duo win first mixed medal at European Youth Championships

Maxwell Sewell and Elena Smith-Fernandez have won Great Britain’s first-ever mixed duet medal at the inaugural European Youth Artistic Swimming Championships.

The duo were part of a six-strong British team taking part in the competition in Rijeka, Croatia.

Sewell and Smith-Fernandez took third spot in the event with a score of 125.8776 – 18.0381 behind gold medalists Lucas Valliccioni and Eva Lafonta from France who finished on 143.9157.

Elena Smith-Fernandez and Maxwell Sewell

The Italian duo of Giulio Andreanelu and Viola Gamberini took second with a total of 143.2722.

Also representing Great Britain at the championships for 13-15 year olds was Florence Blinkhorn, Lily Halasi, Magdalena Townsend and Eve Young.

All six athletes took part in the figures competition, which attracted 161 entrants.

Halasi finished 83rd after scoring 67.3469 for her four figures – Ariana, Rio, Albatross Half Twist and Swordtail.

Smith-Fernandez was one place further back with a total of 67.2857, while Blinkhorn was 88th after scoring 66.7602.

Increased confidence

Young’s score of 66.463 earned her 94th position, Townsend was 129th on 63.3980, while Sewell finished 146th with 58.4694 points.

Blinkhorn and Halasi also competed in the Duet Free event with the pair scoring 70.4000 in the preliminary round for ninth place.

They bettered that in the final with their routine earning 72.6333 and they finished 11th overall with a total of 139.6869 once their figures score had been added.

Karen Thorpe, Swim England artistic swimming manager, said: “It’s very exciting to see Maxwell and Elena picking up our first-ever mixed duet medal and will give them increased confidence as they work on developing their routine.

“All six of our athletes gave it their all and it’s been a great experience for all of them.”

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