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Swimming - 30. November 2007.

WORLD CLASS FIELD FOR SYNCHRO CHAMPIONSHIPS


28th November 2007

The country's top synchronised swimmers will be put to the test when they compete against World Championship silver medallists at the British Synchronised Swimming Championships in Gloucester.

For the first time in 10 years, international competitors will be taking to the water at a British Synchronised Swimming Championships. Spain, Isreal and the Dominican Republic will be using the event to improve competition experience at the beginning of a tough year and will provide an excellent test for Britain's Synchronised Swimmers in preparation for next year's Olympics.

The 2007 World Championship Duet silver medallist Gemma Mengual will be competing with partner Andreas Fuentes in the Duet event and National Performance Director Biz Price believes the exposure to the international teams will benefit the British squad.

"This year's event is really exciting," She said. "We have the world's number two synchro nation [Spain] competing in the UK, it gives all of the British competitors the chance to see what they need to do to improve. We also have the Dominican Republic and Isreal attending. Isreal are our direct competitors so the more exposure we have to their style the better in the lead up to the Olympics.

"There are also three Olympic judges attending and for me to receive feedback so soon into an Olympic cycle is great. The competition is vital for our senior athletes as I will be selecting athletes to go onto to compete at the Olympic trails."

Competition begins on Saturday 1st December with the ASA National Age Groups Figures then over the weekend athletes will also compete in the Solo, Duet and Team events.

National Duet, Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison (Rushmoor), will be showcasing their new technical routine as they aim to retain their national crown. Commonwealth Solo silver medallist Randall will also be aiming to take the British Solo title for the fourth year running.

Price took charge of British Synchro in January 2007 and has installed a strict training programme to raise the standard of synchro in the UK.

"I am really excited to see how much the athletes on the national squad have improved after three months of work at the High Performance Centre. We have worked specifically on their fitness and this will in turn improve their synchro. I saw Jenna [Randall] and Olivia [Allison] for the first time at the championships last year and it will be good to see them in the same environment to assess how far they have come.

"For the juniors this is also an exciting time as this competition is a trial for the Comen Cup next year. This is a junior international competition and I will select three athletes to compete there. For most of the athletes this will be the first time they will have seen international standard synchro and they can learn a lot from the teams coming."
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