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Kate Shortman wins Solo Free gold at National Championships

Kate Shortman lifted the Helen Elkington Trophy after winning Solo Free gold at the ASA National Synchronised Swimming Championships 2017.

The City of Bristol swimmer scored 75.5667 to finish 2.5 points ahead of Duet partner and nearest rival Isabelle Thorpe.

Shortman came into the Championships as champion elect, having won the 15-18 Yrs National Age Group Solo title in December.

The 15-year old also won the club Free Solo title on her senior National Championship debut months ago, albeit with the third highest score of the day behind Federici and Hannah Randall competing for Great Britain in the open competition.

But Shortman stood alone as the best Solo performer in 2017, improving by more than two points from her score in 2016 with her routine to Joe Cocker’s ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’.

“I didn’t personally feel like that was my best performance,” said Shortman, who scored 81.6333 for the same routine at the FINA World Series event in Paris last month.

“I think nerves got on top of me a bit. But you need to do bad swims sometimes so you know what you can improve. It keeps you wanting more and wanting to do better.

“There was a bit of pressure today and the fact that I scored well at the French Open meant I really wanted to show I deserved it. I felt like I didn’t do my best swim but I really want to improve now and I’m ready to work for a better score for the rest of the year.”

Thorpe joins Duet partner on podium with silver

While Thorpe didn’t compete in the Solo event 12 months ago, she won silver behind Shortman at last year’s National Age Group Championships.

The 16-year old’s performance to ‘Je Suis Malade’ by Lara Fabian oozed elegance and she showed good height and control throughout to score 74.0667 and fill second spot again.

Richardson wins fourth medal from four events

City of Leeds’ Rebecca Richardson made the podium for the fourth consecutive event as she claimed bronze.

The 18-year old was the busiest swimmer of the opening day, finishing third in Figures, before adding a silver in the Tech Solo and bronze in the Free Combination.

And Richardson’s medal charge showed no signs of slowing down in the Free Solo as she 68.9667 for her routine to Joss Stone’s ‘It’s A Man’s World’, edging ahead of Greta Hampson (68.1667) to prevent a Bristol clean sweep.

Free Solo Results

1Kate Shortman
(City of Bristol)
2Isabelle Thorpe
(City of Bristol)
3Rebecca Richardson
(City of Leeds)
4Greta Hampson
(City of Bristol)
5Ilaria Brandimarte
(Team Bath)
6Phoebe Bradley-Smith
(City of Birmingham)
7Laura Ribeiro da Cunha
8Isobel Davies
(City of Leeds)
9Chloe Thickett
10Melissa Knapton
(City of Salford)
11Pyper Watkins
(City of Birmingham)
12Rhea Howard