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Youngsters impress on international stage at first world virtual event

Youngsters from the Swim England artistic swimming national squads have impressed on the international stage at the first world virtual event.

More than 40 countries from five continents took part in the UANA Virtual Artistic Swimming Competition.

Taking part on behalf of Great Britain were Magdalena Townsend, Evie Walker, Laura Turberville, Robyn Swatman, Ranjuo Tomblin and Max Sewell.

They had to complete a series of sequences which included strength, power, balance and flexibility.

Karen Thorpe, Swim England Artistic Swimming Prorgrammes Lead, said: “We were delighted to be part of this world competition,

“It was a great opportunity to demonstrate the strength and diverse range of skills required to be good at our sport.

“Our athletes did really well and, for most of them, it was their first competition on the international stage – although a slightly different stage to what we thought the year would be!”

Great to be involved

City of Birmingham’s Townsend, a member of the England Youth Squad, put on a display that was full of balance and poise in the 12 and under age group.

Stockport’s Walker, who is in the Youth and Junior national squads, showed big improvements in her flexibility in the 13-15 years classification.

In the junior age group, Reading Royals’ Turberville, who was part of the GB squad that won a FINA Artistic Swimming World Series silver medal in Paris in March, impressed with her exercises.

Walsall’s Swatman, also a World Series silver medallist, finished a creditable fifth in the senior category, which was ‘a tremendous achievement’ that showed the strength in depth of the British team.

In the boys’ events, Tomblin and Sewall were both experiencing their first international competition and they certainly delivered finishing fifth and sixth respectively in the junior and 13-15 years age groups.

Karen added: “Both Ranjuo and Max showed a great deal of strength and flexibility and it’s great that we were able to show the world that we have some talented lads in our ranks.

“Everyone put on a fantastic performance and it was great to be involved in an international competition – something we wouldn’t have thought possible earlier in the year.

“Many of the skills required are similar to the tests for our trials so we will be looking to hold a similar competition over the next months to encourage development within these areas.”