Britain’s medal account at the LEN European Aquatics Championships was opened on the second night in Budapest as Noah Williams and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix dived to a Mixed Synchronised 10m silver.
(Photo courtesy of Deep Blue Media / LEN)
Despite this being a first competitive outing together for the pairing, Williams (Dive London) and Spendolini-Sirieix (Crystal Palace) settled seamlessly into their rhythm from the platform, as a tightly poised contest unfolded - just three points in fact separated the entire field after the opening two rounds.
With little deviation among the dive lists across all pairings, the British duo supplied the consistency that was key and put themselves in strong medal contention by scoring a 72.00 with their Inward 3½ Somersaults Tuck (407C) that was only bettered by Ukraine’s gold medal coupling, Bailo and Sereda.
Rounding out with a solid Back 2½ Somersaults 1½ Twists Pike (5253B) the Mixed Synchronised 10m silver was secured, a repeat for Williams of his result alongside Eden Cheng in 2019, and a first senior European medal for Spendolini-Sirieix.
Speaking of their achievement, Williams said:
"It means a lot to come a way with a medal. The main reason we chose to do the event was to settle some nerves as it's been over a year since my last competition, so it's been an opportunity to get used to the adrenalin and the pool at the start of the week."
With Spendolini-Sirieix adding:
“Coming here I was exhausted from the World Cup with jet lag and everything but I’m so happy we started with mixed synchro. Noah’s a great synchro partner and it was literally our first time doing optionals together, but it was such a great icebreaker and way to start my competition ahead of the individuals on Thursday.”
Further diving action took place on the 1m Springboard with Kat Torrance and Yasmin Harper flying the flag on the start list in the Women’s event. Torrance, a fourth place finisher in the event at the 2019 World Championships, used her experience to bounce back from a shaky start in the preliminaries to progress to the final, however ultimately it wasn’t her day as she concluded the competition in ninth place.
Meanwhile on the championships Artistic Swimming programme,
Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe continued to forge their reputation as established
senior athletes on the international stage in the Free Duet Preliminaries.
Undeterred by the mid-competition rescheduling of their Tech Duet contest yesterday afternoon, the pair returned to the pool to perform a flamenco inspired routine that was awarded a total of 85.0667 by the judges. Having surpassed the score they set together at the 2019 World Championships, Shortman and Thorpe’s performance was further accompanied by a big thumbs up from coach Paola Basso on pool deck, as they secured their place among the twelve duets to progress to Friday’s final.