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Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe aiming to put GB back on the synchro map

Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe are aiming to put Great Britain back on the synchronised swimming map.

The duet will be bidding to qualify for Tokyo 2020 next year and said the dream of representing their country at the Olympic Games is a major motivational factor for them.

Speaking at the launch of the Artistic Swimming South West project in Bristol, the duo revealed the lengths they are going to in a bid to achieve their goals.

In an interview with British Swimming chief executive Jack Buckner, Thorpe said: “We excited but also nervous – we’re training hard every day.”

Shortman added: “We keep it [the Olympics] in our sights.

“There’s going to be some good days and some not so good days but every time we get a bit down, we picture Tokyo.

“We want to qualify and just keep smashing it. The dream is to make the Olympic finals. We want to put Great Britain’s name on the map again and make people sit up and take notice.”

Shortman and Thorpe got their year off to the best possible start with a personal best score in the technical duet at the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series in Paris.

And they were part of the free combination team that won a silver medal at the same competition.

Set a good impression

Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe in the pool

Shortman said: “It was our first international of the year and we were pushing for high scores.”

Thorpe added: “We wanted to set a good impression at the start of the year and it was a good competition.”

The duet have increased their strength and conditioning programme and do gym work, ballet and yoga alongside time in the pool working on their routines.

And, on top of that, they are also studying hard for their A-level exams this summer.

Shortman said: “School have been really supportive. We do miss quite a bit of school with training but teachers have been giving us one to ones.”

Thorpe added: “We get up some days at 5am and train between 6am and 8.30am before school.

“It can be a bit of a struggle with our A-levels as well but we are doing well.”

Next up for the duet is the fourth leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series in Japan at the end of April before the World Championships in Korea in August.