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Shortman and Thorpe get 2020 campaign off to encouraging start in Paris

Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe proved once again they belong on the international stage as they made an encouraging start to their 2020 artistic swimming campaign.

The British teenagers are in action for the first time this year at the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series in Paris.

And they put on impressive performances in the duet technical and free finals but finished agonisingly outside the medals.

Shortman and Thorpe, who will be bidding to reach the Tokyo 2020 Olympics later this year, were fourth in the free final – only 2.1667 off third place.

Their total of 84.3000 left them just behind the United States, who won the bronze medal, on 86.4667.

The Ukraine pair of Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk took top spot with a total of 92.8667 – 8.5667 clear of the British duet.

Shortman and Thorpe also took fifth place in the technical final with a total of 82.7459.

That left them 8.1262 behind the gold medallists, Ukraine, as Fiedina and Savchuk secured their second gold of the competition with a score of 90.8721.

Karen Thorpe, Swim England’s Artistic Swimming Manager, said: “They were competing for the first time this season and we’re really proud of Kate and Izzy today.”

Team ready for action

The focus for the British athletes now turns to the team competitions for both the combination and free finals on Sunday 8 March.

Shortman and Thorpe will join Isobel Blinkhorn, Millicent Costello, Daisy Gunn, Cerys Hughes, Cerys Larsen, Daniella Lloyd, Robyn Swatman and Laura Turberville for the combination competition.

Last year, the team won a silver medal in the combination final in Paris as they finished on 81.6667 – 1.7666 adrift of gold medallists Brazil.

Blinkhorn, Costello, Davies, Hughes, Larsen, Lloyd, Swatman and Turberville will also be taking part in the free team final.