Kate and Izzy secure GB Olympic spot with Worlds bronze

8 Feb 2024

Kate Shortman and Izzy Thorpe secured an incredible second World Championship medal in the space of three days to rubberstamp the artistic swimming Olympic spot for Britain in the duet programme. 

Having made history with their Tech Duet silver on Monday, the Tokyo Olympians delivered again in the Free Duet final, backing up another strong prelims showing by increasing their routine's difficulty rating and laying down a score of 247.26 to sit top of the rankings with only two duos to come.

While both the Netherlands (silver on 250.49) and China (gold on 250.77) overtook them in the podium placings, the final result ensured it was two global medals over the course of 72 hours for Kate and Izzy - an incredible statistic given there had never previously been a World Championship duet medal for GB artistic swimming.

Their combined tallies across the technical and free events also ensured the British pair were the top-ranked eligible duet in the race for Paris 2024 qualification, subject to ratification following the final team event, capping a superb meet.

"It's incredible, honestly. If people knew how much it takes to get to an Olympic Games, it really should not be underestimated - and it's such a relief now to say we have qualified, we have finally qualified!" said Shortman.

"People ask you all the time, 'so when are you going to the Olympics?' and you have to say, 'the job's not done yet!' So it's such a relief to be able to say we have finally made it."

Thorpe added: "Even after the prelims swim yesterday, everyone was saying, 'ah, you've basically made it', and we were like 'no, no, it's not done until it's done!' So we are just so happy it's a weight off our shoulders - and on to big things hopefully this year."

Izzy Thorpe Kate Shortman Free Duet BRONZE podium shot Doha 2024
Izzy Thorpe (left) and Kate Shortman on the World Champs podium for a second time

Kate and Izzy's free routine was based on the phoenix, symbolising the regeneration of artistic swimming following last year's rule changes. And that switch is something the British pair are thriving on.

"The fact that we are in medal contention for an Olympic medal is just something we never thought we'd be able to say. I am just so proud of us for sticking through  it. We've had some pretty tough times these last two years of this Olympic cycle, and it is sometimes really hard to see the light when there isn't anything changing," added Shortman.

"But within the sport, the rule change has been incredible. It's amazing for the sport, it's so engaging to see the sport and to see different people on the podium, we are just so excited with what's to come."

Thorpe added: "The rule changes have really benefited us because it has helped make the sport a lot more objective. We've been training really hard every day to make our routines really risky, but just enough so we can pull through and get the medal!"