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‘They've swam their hearts out’ ... British team impressing at World Championships

Great Britain’s artistic swimmers have ‘swam their hearts out’ in the opening events of the FINA World Championships.

Two top 10 places have already been secured in the finals of the Solo Technical and the Duet Technical events, while the team are bidding to follow suit in Budapest, Hungary, after also reaching two finals.

In the Solo Technical Final, Kate Shortman finished seventh with a personal best score of 85.1632 to better her 10th-place finish in the 2019 competition.

Shortman improved on her preliminary round score of 83.8324 on day one of the event at the Alfred Hajos Swimming Complex. 

The 20-year-old then teamed up with Isabelle Thorpe for the Duet Technical Final and they swam their Olympic Games routine with new choreography.

They finished in ninth position with a score of 84.9751 – in an event where all the medals were won by sisters.

China’s Liuyi Wang and Qianyi Wang took the gold with a total of 93.7536, Ukraine’s Maryna Aleksiiva and Vladyslava Aleksiiva were second on 91.8617 with Austria’s Anna-Maria Alexandri and Eirini Alexandri scoring 91.2622 to take the bronze.

Shortman and Thorpe will be back in the pool for the Free Duet preliminary round on Tuesday 21 June. 

Absolutely brilliant

The British team of Isobel Blinkhorn, Millicent Costello, Isobel Davies, Daisy Gunn, Cerys Hughes, Daniella Lloyd, Kate Shortman, Robyn Swatman, Isabelle Thorpe and Laura Turberville reached the Team Free Combination final after finishing sixth in the preliminary round.

They are in action again today and aiming to improve on Saturday’s routine which earned them 83.5333. 

Meanwhile, the Tech team of Blinkhorn, Costello, Davies, Lloyd, Shortman, Swatman, Thorpe and Turberville have also booked their place in the final.

They finished ninth in the Sunday’s preliminary round with a score of 82.1773 and will be in action again on Tuesday.

It is the first time Britain has entered a team into the World Championships since 2013 and Karen Thorpe, Swim England artistic swimming manager, has been pleased with the performances in all the events so far.

She said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant the last couple of days.

“Kate finished seventh which is really key for us. I think she has really shown good strength and technical ability  – she is one of the best in the world at spinning. 

We know we can improve

“I think she did a really good job and we were absolutely thrilled with her performance.

“The duet swam their hearts out and finishing ninth is a fantastic result for them.

“We’re excited for the Combination Team final today and hopefully we will improve our score from the preliminary round.

“The tech team have also made it to the final. I thought the prelim swim was a little but shaky, some of the patterns were a little bit big, but we know we can improve and we’re looking forward to doing that tomorrow.

“There are also 35 duets in the free duet preliminary round tomorrow.

“FINA has decided to split the competition into two halves so the judges can have a good break which is a bit of an unusual thing to do.

“But because it’s so hot, FINA wanted to make sure the judges were feeling their best to do a good job.

“Iz and Kate swim in the second group. It’s the same routine they did at the Olympic Games with some new choreography put into it to show their technical ability and speed of movement.”