History-makers Shortman and Thorpe claim Worlds silver

5 Feb 2024

Kate Shortman and Izzy Thorpe delivered a moment of British artistic swimming history in Doha as they swam to a stunning silver in the Tech Duet event - the first GB duet medal at a World Championships.

Competing at their fifth World Championships together, the 22-year-old pair headed into the final in podium contention after placing third in Saturday's prelims. 

They still needed to deliver a similarly composed display to threaten those top three positions, though, and that is exactly what Kate and Izzy did, executing their Big Ben-inspired routine to virtual perfection and receiving an overall mark of 259.56, thanks in part to one of the highest difficulty levels in the field.

That score moved them top of the standings with only two teams to follow, and while China leapfrogged them at the end, Spain's score fell short of GB, leaving the British duo with that historic silver - a first duet medal at a World Championships. 

"It means so much, I can't even put it into words. I just hope it's inspiring some young girls and boys back at home, and we can lead the way for some of them and that there's a bright future for artistic swimming in the UK," said Thorpe.

"It was about trying to be confident and calm at the same time. Obviously it was very exciting when we came third in the prelim, but it's about trying to keep those nerves down. We just knew we had to do exactly the same swim, a normal swim for us. We train everyday, we are swimming at a World Champs so we just tried to replicate that here and I feel it went really well."

Kate and Izzy do not have long to celebrate the result. They are back in the water for the Free Duet prelims on Wednesday, with the final of that event to follow on Thursday.

Izzy Thorpe Kate Shortman Karen Thorpe + Yumiko Tomomatsu smiles Tech Duet prelims Doha 2024

After that competition, the scores from both Tech Duet and Free Duet finals will be combined to work out who has qualified the final Olympic spots for Paris 2024.

That is the pair's ultimate goal - and Shortman feels their technical silver is a perfect springboard for that target.

"The confidence that this will give us will translate into the Free Duet. To get a silver medal at World Champs, in Olympic year, is crazy. Any World Championships, let alone an Olympic year World Champs, we are just really happy," she said.

"I don't think it'll sink in for a couple of days. I think I just need to take a bit of a rest now - we need to reset ahead of that free because we've got big plans for that as well, so we don't want to let this affect that either way.

"Hopefully we can get a bit more publicity for the sport now and we can encourage people to get involved, everything that comes with it!"