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Swimming - 05. December 2007.

SPANISH PAIR CONTINUE TO IMPRESS AT BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS




The World Championship medallists took to the water in Gloucester to perform their new Free Duet routine and scored excellent marks ranging from 9.7-9.9. They retained their lead from yesterday and took victory in the event with 97.583 points. They take home a commemorative medal in the event.

"This is quite a new routine for us," Mengual said. "We performed it for the first time at our Spanish nationals and we will used it at the World Trophy in Brazil. It has been going well for us.

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"Andrea is a new partner for me and it is working well for us. She is quite young but is really focused and learns new routines very quickly. I know we have a lot of competition for Olympic qualification but I know we can do it and do well in Beijing."

With the lead secured by the Spanish pair the teams from Israel and Great Britain were left to fight it out for the second spot. The British pair of Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison, also representing their club Rushmoor, were drawn first and showed their style with an excellent performance.

They scored higher than in their Technical routine and finished with a total of 86.751 - their highest score of the year. The Duet from Israel looked strong on day one and went out and put it an impressive performance on the final day. The Israel Duet scored well but not as high as in their Technical routine and finished the competition just one point ahead of the Brits with 87.417.

Of their performance British athlete Olivia Allison commented: "We wanted to go out and do our best and we were pleased with how we swam. It was one of our older routines and we wanted to make people think that it was new. We had to push it harder to show how much we had improved.

"We got good feedback from our coach and we were happy with the scores. However, we can do better and we know how to improve to get the higher marks. Both routines felt good for us, it was great to display our new technical routine and get the feedback from that.

"We will be using our new Free Duet routine at the German Open in January, which we are really excited about. It has been amazing competing against the Spanish athletes their new routine yesterday was so good and full of complex choreography which I was impressed with."

By finishing highest out of the British competitors Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison will now go onto represent Great Britain at the Olympic Qualifying event in Beijing in April with the aim of qualifying a place the 2008 Olympics for Great Britain.

The team events saw more excitement in the pool with Rushmoor taking the top spot in the Technical Team and the Free Combination events in the British Championships, they claimed the gold in the Technical Team for the seventh time in a row.

They performed the routines with some new members in the squad and in the absence of Randall and Allison performed the routines to an excellent standard to take the gold medals.

Team coach Julie Andrews "We performed a new routine today and I think the girls did incredibly well. We were aiming to take our seventh national title and we did that today. The other clubs were working hard to beat us and we knew we had to pull out an excellent performance today. I think the girl's elements were especially good and that led us to gaining the higher marks.

"It has been hard for us this year as we were missing some of our more experienced athletes. We were missing Jenna [Randall] and Olivia [Allison] and we only had the chance to learn the routine with Lauren [Smith] and Louise [Wooley] on a few weekends, but they did us proud and got us some good scores."

They finished in the Technical Team event with a total of 71.167, Bristol Central took the silver medal with a total of 66.667 points and the bronze medal went to Reading Royals with 65.166.

In the Free Combination Rushmoor won with 74.333 points ahead of Trafford who took 64.667 points.

The 13 &14 Free Combination saw excitement in the ASA National Age Groups competition with Bristol Central 'A' battling against Rushmoor to retain their title. Both teams performed well and were confident in the water but it was Bristol that took the title.

The reigning champions took gold with 61.167 points ahead of Rushmoor - who finished with 59.333 points, Bristol 'B' took the bronze with 59.167.

The Bristol Central 'A' 13 and 14 coach, Karen Thorpe said: "They did really well today with a challenging routine. I wanted to push the girls and see what they could bring out in a competition environment. They have been working on the routine all year and they really brought a good performance out of the bag, I was especially happy with the pack changes."



Results:

Technical Team

Gold: Rushmoor
Silver: Bristol Central
Bronze: Reading Royals

13 &14 Free Combination

Gold: Bristol Central 'A'
Silver: Rushmoor
Bronze: Bristol Central 'B'

15, 16 & 17 Free Duets

Gold: Jessica Fletcher/Melissa Halliwell (Trafford)
Silver: April Poulter/Louise Anderson (Rushmoor)
Bronze: Vanessa Gate/Jenna Coulthard (Gateshead)

18 & 19 Free Duets

Gold: Bethany Dearlove/Jenny Godding (Reading Royals)
Silver: Charlotte Beresford/Helen Seeby (Trafford)
Bronze: Nicola Kong/Natalie Mercier (City of Birmingham)

Free Duet

Gold: Jenna Randall/Olivia Allison (GB/Rushmoor)/ Commemorative gold medal: Gemma Mengual/Andrea Fuentes (Spain)
Silver: Louise Wooley/Lauren Smith (Rushmoor) Commemorative gold medal: Anastasia Gloushkov/Inna Yoffe (Isreal)
Bronze: Katie Dawkins/Rebecca Macenri (Bristol Central)

12 & Under Free Teams

Gold: Bristol Central 'A'
Silver: Reading Royals
Bronze: Walsall SSC

Free Team Combination

Gold: Rushmoor
Silver: Trafford
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