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Swimming - 05. December 2007.


World silver medallists Gemma Mengual and Andrea Fuentes stole the show with their impressive new Technical Duet routine at the British Synchronised Swimming Championships.

The Spanish pairing took to the water and showcased the Spanish style of synchro to the British crowd. The girls were commended for the entire routine including their excellent vertical splits and height out of the water.


As they finished the crowd erupted into rapturous applause as they showed their appreciation for the world-class synchro. They scored between 9.5 - 9.9 to take the lead, as guests, with 97.500 points going into tomorrow, where they will perform their Free Solo.

"I really enjoyed that swim," Mengual said. "It was good fun. It is a new routine and we were testing the music and choreography and it was great to hear the audience getting so involved. The audience was great and it is an excellent facility - the water was perfect for synchronised swimming.

"Our focus is on Olympic qualification and we want to finish in the top two at Beijing next year, we have some tough competition but we are feeling good with our routines."

The Isreal Duet showed their class with their speed through the water and the difficult content of the programme. They scored in the high eights and nines to secure 88.333 points to look in a strong place for the Free event tomorrow.

Jenna Randall (19) and Olivia Allison (17), representing Great Britain and Rushmoor, came out and performed their new Technical Duet routine and enjoyed the crowd's encouragement. The girls have been working at the High Performance Centre in Aldershot since the beginning of the year and have shown significant signs of improvement in their synchro. The girls scored high eights to take the lead, as British competitors, with 86.334 points in the Technical Duet.

"I know we can perform that routine better than we did today," Randall said. "It was the first time we have used it in a competition environment and it felt good to get such a great response from the audience. I used to get really nervous about competitions but having worked with Biz [Price] at the High Performance Centre I am more composed about going out to compete now."

Earlier in the day Randall took to the water in the Technical Solo to claim gold and prove her place as Britain's top synchronised swimmer.

Randall was drawn late in the Technical Solo but shone through to take the top spot with 86.167 points almost ten points ahead of her nearest competitor. Her routine included difficult boosts and vertical splits but Randall showed that her hard work at the Army Barracks has paid off with scores in the high eights - a marked improvement on last year's scores.

"I was really pleased with the scores," Randall said. "They are creeping up and I am happy with the improvement from last year but I really want to break into the nines. We have been working on my execution more as we know this will lead to better marks.

"My thrusts and vertical splits are good but we have been working on my strength to improve them even more. I have had good feedback from my coach but there are still bits I need to work on to be where I want to be on a world scale."

Olivia Allison (Rushmoor) performed her solo for the first time this year and has spent three months preparing for the event. The 17-year-old showed her strength in the water with increased height in her boosts and took the silver with 78.000 points.

"I have been working on my solo routine for about three months now," she said. "Solo gives you the chance to showcase your best elements. I was pleased with the way I performed but I know I have bits to work on to progress and get even better scores. I didn't perform the solo last year so it was good to take perform this year."

World Championship squad member Lauren Smith (Rushmoor) took the bronze medal with x points.

The closest fought event in the ASA National Age Groups was the 17 and under Free Combination where Gateshead put in an excellent performance and took gold with 65.833 points beating Reading Royals by only two points.

Gateshead coach Gayle Adamson stated: "I was very pleased with their performance today. They were really confident with the routine and it is the best presentation of the routine I have seen them do. We have some under 12s in our team and they were a little nervous as we were preparing but they were incredibly composed during the performance. The team's attention to their corrections was excellent and for me the performance factor was the best part."
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