Kate and Izzy end European campaign on a high

14 May 2021

Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe rounded out their Artistic Swimming campaign at the European Aquatics Championships on Friday morning with the best performance of their careers.

Having enjoyed a fruitful week, with personal bests across their range of events, the Bristol-based duo delivered a swim to remember in the Women’s Duet Free final, which both the judges and competitors in the stands appreciated.

Performing a Flamenco inspired Spanish routine, the pair showed both poise and passion as they executed their routine impeccably, coach Paola Basso pleased with what she saw.

Climbing out of the water and awaiting the judges verdicts, the young duo were clearly pleased with their efforts and the scores that followed, a total of 85.8000 a huge personal best performance. That score meant they led the competition for a number of routines, eventually finishing a pleasing seventh, which keeps them on track for Olympic qualification next month.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted Kate said:

“We’re so happy with that – it’s another PB for us here at Europeans. We haven’t done a competition in so long, and whilst it’s amazing to be back up there, the fact we’re improving our scores during this time is amazing.”

Izzy added:

“At our last competition we got 84, and we’re 85.8 here and very close to 86, which is really good for us – we’re aiming for 86 at the peak of the season, so we’re already getting a head start.

“This routine is a flamenco Spanish routine and we think it suits us really well as we’ve been doing a lot of dance, especially through lockdown. We’ve used Zoom a lot with our coach in Italy, which we wouldn’t have done before, so we’ve been really lucky to have that opportunity, do a lot of dance, and incorporate it into the routine.”

Kate finished:

“It really suits our strengths – we can both put our emotion into it and I feel like you can really feel the passion from the people watching, and that’s what we want to convey.”

Last but by no means least on Great Britain’s Artistic Swimming programme came the Team Free final, eight young swimmers gaining valuable experience for the future by just being here in Budapest. Performing a Muhammed Ali themed routine, which proved to be a knockout with the judges, saw them amass 81.8333 points, good for fifth. Delivering a performance of this level, off such limited preparation due to lockdown restrictions limiting individuals travel, points to a bright future for the team.

For full results please click here