Kazan World Championships!
It’s been a busy few months recently and we’ve just finished our biggest competition this year – the World Championships. I competed in the team event at Barcelona Worlds two years ago but I knew this was going to be very different because I was swimming the duet! It meant I was quite nervous but also excited to be a part of it!
In preparation for the competition we went on a training camp in Spain to work with Andrea Fuentes. It was incredible to work with her, not only because she is a four-time Olympic medalist but because of her positivity and outlook on training. It was a tough week but we learned a lot about pushing ourselves to reach our max and also motivating ourselves to get the most out of our training. As Andrea was a part of the Spanish duet she had a lot of experience and she taught us a lot about connecting together to help us swim better together in the pool. It was a really enjoyable and valuable experience for both of us – hopefully one day we will go back!
After a bit of training in England we were ready to fly to Russia and show everyone the work we’d done. Before the competition started we had a couple of days for training. There were three different pools to train in – one being the competition pool. The venue was amazing! It was a converted football stadium that held two Olympic sized swimming pools. The competition pool had a roof put over it but the training pool was outdoors which was nice.
Our first event was the tech duet competition. I was a bit more nervous for this one because we had only swam it in competition twice before because we competed at junior age as well where we didn’t need tech routines. We’d done a lot of work on our tech elements so were hoping to show that when we competed. After the swim we were a bit disappointed because we didn’t get the scores we wanted, but it just pushed us to put everything in for free in a couple of days.
We were more pleased with the result from free but not just based on the scores, but how the swim felt as well. It felt like we put more energy in and swam better as a unit which is something we have really been working on. We watched a lot of the other countries after we’d finished competing to help us come up with things we felt we still needed to improve on!
On Thursday Emma and I spent the day with my family out exploring Kazan. I’m really glad we got the opportunity because I think it’s really important to enjoy the whole experience when we go to competitions! First we went to the Kazan family centre/viewpoint.
Outside the United Buddy Bear project was being displayed. Each bear was created by an artist to represent their country. The motto of the project is ‘We have to get to know each other better…it makes us understand one another better, trust eachother more, and live together more peacefully.’ The idea is to promote living together in peace and harmony. Some of the designs were really incredible and it was interesting to see how the different countries wanted to show themselves.
From the top of the viewpoint you could see over the whole of Kazan including all the venues for the competition! This is where the selfie sticks we got given by the competition came in handy!
We also went into Kazan where we held a little monkey called Anton. We also held a python but I’m not sure what his name was – we didn’t want to stick around him for too long!
Now that we’re back we’ve got a little break away from centralised training – and it’s also my 18th birthday soon so I’m really excited! Then in September we’re choreographing two new duet routines which hopefully we are really going to be able to perform with good intensity because they will be more suited to us. We know that there’s a lot of work to do to get to Rio next year but we’re ready for it!
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