named as the 2016 Olympic synchro Duet athletes after trials in November.
London 2012 Olympians Katie and Olivia made their competitive return at the German Open that took place in Bonn from 29 – 31 January.
The pair finished 7th in the Free Routine and 8th overall. Results here
The British Synchronised Swimming team competed at the French Open 2016 this weekend as they continue their preparation for the Olympic Synchronised Swimming Qualification Tournament and the LEN European Aquatics Championships.
Photo: Maria Shortman
GB Synchro Free Team secure bronze at French Open 2016.
The eight-strong team competing in the Free Routine consisted of Isabelle Thorpe, Hannah Randall, Phoebe Bradley-Smith, Danielle Cooper, Jorja Brown, Emma Critchley, Kate Shortman and Zoe James. Each athlete stepped up to show the progress they have made in their first senior international competition together.
Photo: Maria Shortman
February - Olympic Qualifying
The news comes following the performances of Katie Clark and Olivia Federici who finished in first place in the Duet Free second round at the Olympic Games Synchronised Swimming Qualification Tournament in Rio.
The duo both competed at London 2012 before retiring but returned to the sport in November last year.
David Sparkes, British Swimming Chief Executive, said: “British Swimming is delighted we have qualified for Rio. They have worked hard and it’s been good to see them achieve this position.....
Photo: Getty - Buda Mendes
Team GB will be represented in synchronised swimming at the Olympic Games in Rio this summer, after an official quota placed was confirmed by international federation Fina. - 21/03/2016
"Katie and Olivia returned to the sport in November and made an impressive start to 2016 with a top ten finish at the German Open, their first international competition since the 2013 World Championships and then moved on to Paris where the pair then showed significant progress a week later at the French Open before going on to take first place in the Duet Free second round at the Olympic Games Synchronised Swimming Qualification Tournament....
BBC Sport's reporter Daniel South describes Katie and Olivia as securing Great Britain a surprise place at the Rio Olympics earlier this month having only returned to the sport last year.
The pair - and five other team members - retired following the 2013 Barcelona World Championships, a move which saw UK Sport axe all funding support for the team.
Despite the lack of support British Swimming have confirmed a duet pair will be allowed to compete at the Rio Games where the athletes hope to inspire a new generation of synchronised swimming talent. A link here to Daniel's piece with Katie, Olivia and Jodie Cowie, third squad member who is on her way back from injury.
Photo: Sarah James
Whilst the Rio Olympics are the ultimate target for 2016, the girls have the very important LEN European Championships at the London Aquatic Centre (Synchro 9th to 13th May). In addition to the duet, GB will be swimming Solo, Team and Combination events. Details here
The next opportunity to see the GB Synchros (Duets, Teams et al ) is at the ASA National Synchronised Swimming Championships - 16/17 April 2016 in Nottingham. This we believe will include an opportunity to see RR's Emma Critchley swim the GB Duet too.
May - The LEN European Aquatics Synchro Championships were held at the London Aquatic Centre from the 9th to 13th May.
GB swam in all disciplines except the Mixed Duet with Emma Critchley and Katie Clark integral to most.
The Free Team scord 79.00 in the final finishing 8th - "GB synchro squad put in a powerful performance in the European Team Free event to finish off their London 2016 campaign" - British Swimming
Tech Team scored 76.9850 to finish 9th.
The GB squad then showed great improvement on day four of the European Aquatics Championships, scoring 77.9667 in the European Free Combination final.(8th)
The Duet returned to the pool to compete in the final of the Duet Free, finishing eighth.The pair improved their score from the prelims by 1.7 to close the event with a score of 81.433.
The second GB Duet of Emma Critchley and Hannah Randall did not compete but swam the preswim routine . There was no coverage by TV producer and the unfortunate decision once more at a LEN competition to prohibit spectators using cameras probably means there is little record of the swim!
Giorgio Scala - deepbluemedia
GB Combination Team 2016
Just 4 weeks before their participation in Rio, GB Duet Katie and Olivia are in Califirnia and competing at the Synchro America Open.
The Tech routine score on Thursday 16th July was 78.86. The pair thought they swam pretty well and may have been underscored.
The Free though the following night (prelim) in copious Cali evening sunshine was a marvellous swim and scored 83.95 the highest mark achieved by these two since they returned. See the swim HERE .
The girls have upped the ante again in the final, swum yesterday evening - producing a score of 85.65. Swim
is at 39:00 HERE
Katie and Olivia headed for Rio optimistic but also realistic of what might be achieved. Their free routine saw them finish 18th with a score a shade below the 8.00 mark, a level we thought they had left behind given their scores in established international competition earlier in the year. Synchro judging is what it is!
Tech routine brought about an improved score into the 8's. Normally a duet's "Free" scores are better than their "Techs" and this pair are no exception.
Overall, whilst there was disappointment with the free score, the duet have taken GB synchro considerably up the rankings in the short time they have been together and there can be bo doubt that future swimmers will benefit just from GB having had a duet in Rio. Final word to Andrea Fuentes on Instagram:-
"andreafuentes83This swim was so good! Best swim ever girls!! This 4 women brang @gbsynchro up to 8 places in the world ranking in only 8 months swimming together as a duet. This 2 atlethes, @olivia_federici and @katieclark_23 are one of the best atlethes a coach can have because of their mind and motivation. I feel blessed to had the chance to help you in some moments of this special year. You deserve even more than this. I'm proud of you guys! And also special congrats to @katiechapman2012 very good job coach ;) #rio2106 #olympics".
RIO - August 2016