We recently arrived back home after a week in Berlin, Germany for the European Championships. Overall we were thrilled with the results from the competition, with all of the routines showing a great improvement from training. It was our first major competition as a new squad, and though there were a lot of challenges to face, we maintained our focused and had a really good competition!
The week began with two days of training to get used to the pool space and the surroundings. The pool width was bigger than our pool at the Garrison, so we had to practice travelling further across the pool. We also had limited music time so the sessions were short but quite intense. It was a different type of training to what we were used to however the team all adapted well so we still made a lot of improvements.
The first day of the competition was all about the technical routines starting with Gen’s tech solo, followed by our tech duet and then finishing with the tech team. It also happened to be my 17th birthday which was weird because I’d never had a birthday away before! We were pleased with our tech duet swim – it was hard but also felt like our best swim. We were a bit disappointed with our scores, however we now know that our main area for improvement is the execution of the elements. The tech team was really enjoyable to swim, which was shown by our energy and presentation during the performance, and it was a really good start to the team competition!
The following days all only had two events. Thursday was free duet in the morning and free team in the evening. Once again we felt like the free duet was our best swim, with our lifts working well and our intensity a little bit higher than usual. It was after this that we found our two duet scores combined would not gain us a place in the final on Saturday. This was extremely disappointing however we moved up from 14th in tech duet to 13th in free duet, showing us where we need to make changes and improvements
That evening was the free team competition, and it was probably one of the hardest swims we’d done. Our coaches said it looked like we pushed through and kept the energy at the end which was really pleasing to hear! Now our focus was to make corrections to lift the score up in the final!
Friday was the last day of the prelims, consisting of the free solo and combo. Gen moved up the ranks in her solo which she was really happy with and knows for the future to focus a bit more on the tech solo. The combo in the evening was a great swim, it’s always really fun to perform and put in lots of energy and presentation. Both lifts worked well which was one of our key focuses for the swim.
After the prelims were finished we had a couple fo overall focuses going into the finals – smaller patterns and better posture. We now only had one event per day so it was all about putting everything we had into the swim.
Both of our final swims improved from prelims which was a brilliant achievement for the team! Our biggest improvement was combo which was exactly two points higher in the final! The feedback from coaches, judges and the audience was great and we finished the week on a really good note 🙂
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