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Superb Salford win first ever free team National Championships title

A superb performance from Salford Synchronised Swimming Club saw the North West side seal their first ever free team title at the GoCardless Swim England Artistic Swimming National Championships 2024.

Salford defeated defending champions Reading Royals by ten points to take the crown which has been their head coach Jess Fletcher described as ‘ten years in the making’.

She said: “I’m just unbelievably proud of all of them. There isn’t a word to describe it.

“When they first introduced the new rules, it’s such a big change which I personally found hard to adapt to because I’ve swam myself since 1997 and coached for 14 years so it was a massive change.

“But these swimmers have been absolutely brilliant. We’ve lived and breathed the codes and things and it’s paid off.

“We first came to the National Championships as a club in 2014 so this has been ten years in the making to get to this moment.

“That would be amazing but we’re not going to be complacent. We know it’s a big ask and we just came here wanting to do our best and put on a swim to be proud but to be on top of the podium is just incredible.”

Salford’s routine scored 144.6358 with 96.2500 for impression and 48.3858 for elements from their ten-strong team.

Making up the squad was Abby Foster, Cajsa Jonsson, Eva Lawrence, Libby Taylor, Lotti Horsman, Sophie Flemming, Sophie Rowney and Zoe Taylor with Caitlyn Brook and Neve Lambert in reserve.

After winning the last two free team events and the acrobatic routine competition this morning, Reading Royals had to settle for silver this time around.

Their impressive military themed routine scored 134.4158 and earnt the highest impression score of the competition.

Amy Wilson, Beatrice Askar, Cara Zeidler, Elizabeth Cox, Francesca Pringle, Holly Hughes, Jessica Hinxman, Lily Halasi with Eloise Hackett and Naomi Morgan in reserve took home silver for the South East club.

City of Birmingham won bronze. Their team was made up of Alyssa Anderson, Amelie Knight-Markiegi, Emily Taylor, Louise Macdonagh, Magdelena Townsend and Trinity Townsend.

Flemming and Rowney add to Salford’s success

That wasn’t the only gold medal for Salford as Sophie Flemming and Sophie Rowney also took to the top of the podium in the Technical Duet event earlier on in the day.

The duo put together a strong routine to finish more than eight points ahead of their nearest challengers.

The pair took home both the senior and junior titles with an overall routine score of 148.4567. An impression score of 72.4000 and 76.0567 for their elements made up their total.

City of Bristol’s Amelie Williams and Nia Rushton pulled off a clean swim to secure second place in the senior event.

Having no basemarks helped propel themselves above the teams around after the pair were awarded an overall score of 140.4017. Broken down they earnt 65.8000 and 75.6017 for their elements.

There was another two medals for Reading Royals with Cara Zeidler and Jessica Hinxman taking senior bronze and junior silver.

City of Preston Aquatics rounded out the junior podium with their first medal of the Championships.

Their duet of Chloe Hawksworth and Natasha Howard took the Lancashire side to bronze thanks to a total of 135.3833.

You can find all the scores from the GoCardless Swim England Artistic Swimming National Championships 2024 here.

Images: Will Johnston Photography