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‘Happy’ duet champions urge others to take up artistic swimming

Denton duet Elizabeth Kerrigan and Zsofi Steingart celebrated winning an artistic swimming national masters title by encouraging others to have a go at their ‘favourite thing in the world’.

The duet were gold medallists in the 25-29 years age group of the Swim England Artistic Swimming Virtual Senior and Masters Championships 2021 after scoring 59.0902 for their routine.

They finished ahead of Kingston’s Katherine Holland and Lucy Whatley, who were second with a total of 55.2157, and Bramcote’s Sarah Brown and Rebecca Greatorex who took the bronze medal with a score of 52.3882.

Team results

See all the results from the Swim England Artistic Swimming Virtual Senior and Masters Championships duet competition by clicking here.

Kerrigan said: “We’re delighted to have won.

“It’s definitely been a different year of training and competing with it being virtual. There were challenges but lots of excitement and opportunities.

“Artistic swimming is my favourite thing in the world. It always puts a smile on my face every time I hop in the pool and flip around.

“I always feel better when I leave, so just go swimming and it will make you happy. Keep doing it and have fun.”

Steingart added: “We have only been swimming together since August this year and we’re really, really proud of how far we have come.

“We absolutely love our routine. It’s so fun to swim and puts a smile on our faces.

“I honestly can’t wait to see what we do next. I’m really looking forward to swimming with Liz in the future. We love the sport and being upside down!”

A total of 14 medals were won in the technical duet competition with 36 swimmers from 12 clubs taking part in the event.

Aquavision’s Giulia Escher and Yixin Zeng claimed the 30-39 years crown with their routine, which was themed around the battles with mental illness.

Super excited

They scored 64.9333 for their performance and Zeng said: “We’re super excited to have the technical duet category.

“The theme of our routine is about battling mental illness, a prevalent issue in the 21st century and one that has been heightened by the pandemic.

“We wanted to put a spotlight on this social issue.

“Going into 2022, we hope to enter the World Masters Championships in Japan in the spring and achieve our personal best but also have a great time.”

Rushmoor’s Carla Sanders revealed a last-minute decision to enter the duet alongside Francesca Feast had paid off as they triumphed in the 40-49 years age group.

Their score of 59.4431 was 2.9568 ahead of the silver medallists, Aqualiona’s Alina White and Jayne Jarvis.

Sanders said: “Me and Frankie are so delighted to have won this event as we have only been training together since September.

“We made a last-minute decision to enter a duet in this category so only had seven or eight training sessions together.

“We were swimming to the music Wonder Women, from the first film, and we particularly enjoyed the music as it’s quite fast, drummy with good beats.

Really fun

“We’re both looking forward to competing together with our team-mates at the 2022 European Championships in Rome, where we can hopefully see the rest of the synchro community from around Europe and the world.”

Rosie Barrington, who won gold in the 18-24 age group alongside her City of Leeds team-mate Greta Hampson, said she was really grateful for the opportunity to take part in the championships.

They scored 64.2765 for their routine with Barrington saying: “I’m really pleased to have won the duet event with Greta – we had a really good summer and it was a really good experience training and competing.

“Greta is in America at the moment on a university scholarship in Texas but it was really fun to utilise the opportunity of the virtual event to film a little but early and still get the chance to compete.

“It was really good to get involved in the masters event and we are really grateful for the opportunity – it was brilliant.”

Rushmoor’s Andrea Holland and Carolyn MacDonald said ‘you’re never too old’ to give artistic swimming a go after winning the 60-69 years gold medal with a score of 57.9627.

Holland said: “We would really recommend that anyone who has enjoyed artistic swimming to really still get involved.

“You’re never too old to give it a go. We have such a lot of fun. There’s so much team spirit with everybody and it keeps us fit at the same time so there’s lots and lots of positives.”

See the full results from the Technical Duet competition from the Swim England Artistic Swimming Virtual Senior and Masters Championships by clicking here.