Jodie Cowie

My GB synchro journey!

Japan Open 2015

The beginning of our trip to Tokyo was quite eventful! After boarding the plane ready for our twelve hour flight we found out that there was technical problem and ended up with a four hour delay before being put on a new plane leaving four hours later! Fortunately this one took off without a problem and I began the longest plane journey I’d ever been on!

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It was the first time I had ever been to Japan and it was very exciting! It wasn’t as modern as I expected it to be but there were so many skyscrapers and buildings – I was also surprised by the amount of greenery there still was! The evening we arrived we took a little walk and got to see the city in the dark which looked really cool because of all the lights.
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The next day we went to the pool for training. The pool was really nice and it was pretty big! There was an olympic sized swimming pool, a diving pit and another training pool. In the afternoon we had music time to practice our two routines which was good so we could go through the routines and practice our travel around the pool.

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Saturday was the first day of the competition and we swam in the technical duet event. We hadn’t competed in the tech since Europeans last August, so we were a bit nervous but we knew we had done all the training so just needed to concentrate on our corrections. We finished with a score of 75.6821 which was really pleasing as it was a step up from our last competition 🙂
The next day we competed in the free duet. At the moment this is our stronger routine and we wanted to get a higher score than we did on tech. The theme is very different to our other routine so our presentation was really important. We received a score of 78.3667 moving us up to 11th place which meant we had qualified for the finals.
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That afternoon we went to visit the sky tree- the tallest tower in the world! We could see it from our hotel and from the pool so it was really exciting to get the opportunity to go up it as we had wanted to see it since we arrived.
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The views from the tower were amazing! Unfortunately we didn’t go all the way to the highest point but what we did see was incredible!
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On the last day of the competition we competed in the finals which meant swimming the free duet event again. We were really pushing to get a higher score so we were concentrating on making our presentation bigger and really pushing for height and energy in the last lap of the routine. We got a score of 78.9 which felt really good and we finished in 4th place in the international section! From being in Japan we noticed that all of their club teams and especially their national team were so sharp and accurate with all their positions so we want to learn from that and use it to improve our routines.
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On the last evening we got a taxi near to Tokyo City centre. The buildings and lights looked so cool when it was dark! We looked around the shops and found some really interesting souvenirs. Then after looking around for a few hours we found a restaurant where we actually ended up having chicken and chips! However it was served in a Japanese style which was very different to how we have it in England.
As we were on our way back to get a taxi to the hotel we could hear bells and singing so we went to have a look and it turned out to the a festival. We went to get a closer look and two Japanese men ended up lending Emma and I their festival outfits so we could join in! They were carrying a sort of temple so we swapped with some of the others and helped carry it through the streets of Tokyo! It was very lucky timing as it was such a cool thing to experience.
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The whole competition was lovely and the Japanese were very welcoming hosts. We also saw Masayo, the coach from the Japanese national team who came over to train GB for a little bit, and it was lovely to catch up with her.
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It was the first competition I had been to without the team which was very strange! They were back in England competing in the English champs and they all did really well. I was really pleased for them and to hear about how well they did and how good the swims were!
The entire experience was brilliant – the competition was different to usual as it felt a bit calmer but at the same time there was still pressure to do good swims as we want to keep improving.

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It was incredible to do a bit of sightseeing as well because it’s not every day that you get to visit Japan!
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