GB sets sights on artistic swimming team competing at Paris 2024 Olympic GamesSeptember 20, 2021
Great Britain has set its sights on having an artistic swimming team compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games following the creation of a new world-class programme.
The success of duet Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe in qualifying for the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics has led to new participants taking up the sport.
Now a new programme based in Bristol aims to give athletes more full-time training opportunities alongside their studies at universities in the hope of boosting their senior world rankings.
The goal is to send a British senior artistic swimming team to the World Championships next year for the first time since 2013 – with the long-term aim of them qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Trials have been held to identify the athletes on the world-class programme and, so far, 13 have been selected.
They are Shortman, Thorpe, Daniella Lloyd, Isobel Davies, Isobel Blinkhorn, Daisy Gunn, Laura Turberville, Cerys Larsen, Cerys Hughes, Millie Costello, Rosie Rallings, Robyn Swatman and Aimee Lawrence.
Karen Thorpe, Swim England artistic swimming manager, said it was exciting times for the sport.
“The legacy and impact of Kate and Izzy competing in Tokyo has driven the popularity of the sport,” she said.
“We are already seeing that in the number of people wishing to take part in not just the senior trials for this new world-class programme but also within our junior and youth squads.
“The new programme will allow all the athletes to essentially have a dual career – attending university as well as training.
“They will train together during the week and on weekends but also carry out strength and land work and speed swimming at their chosen universities.
“During holidays, there will be extended full-time training for these athletes which we feel will elevate our position within the senior world rankings.
“The long-term aim is for the team to be a contender for Paris 2024 – a journey which will hopefully start at the World Championships next year.
“This is something we are very excited about and the future of the sport is looking strong.”