Artistic swimming: Great Britain’s Duet aims to qualify for Tokyo 2020

A total of 10 teams and 22 duets will be aiming to gain qualification for next year’s Olympic Games at three events during the next 12 months. One team place and two duet spots will be up for grabs at the LEN Cup, taking place in St Petersburg, Russia.

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Artistic swimming: Great Britain’s Duet aims to qualify for Tokyo 2020

Duet of Great Britain’s Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe will be a command to seal an Olympic sport at the first available opportunity – although the standard of the competition is likely to be ‘exceptionally high.

The team that wins the LEN Cup, and therefore books their place at the Olympics, will also have their duet automatically entered.

One further duet place can be secured by the winning pair or the next best-ranked duo at the LEN Cup if the gold medallist’s country had also won the team event.

Should Great Britain’s team or duet not qualify in the first instance, five more team spaces will be available at the FINA World Championships in Korea, in August, and the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, in Tokyo, next April. Seven duet spots can also be worn at the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament.

Shortman and Thorpe will be competing in Tokyo between 27-29 April in the fourth leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series.

The duet impressed during the first leg of the competition in Paris when they set a new personal best score for their karate-themed routine.

Olympic Artistic Swimming Tickets
Artistic swimming: Great Britain’s Duet aims to qualify for Tokyo 2020

They will then team up with Victoria Usher, Daniella Lloyd, Millicent Costello, Greta Hampson, Ilaria Brandimarte, Cerys Larsen, Cerys Hughes, Laura Turnerville and Isobel Blinkhorn for the LEN Cup.

The team’s confidence will be boosted by the silver medal they won at the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series in Paris in the free combination final.

Russia will be the first time this season that the Great Britain squad will compete in the technical, free and combo team events.

Karen Thorpe, Swim England Artistic manager, said: “We are expecting the standard in Russia to be exceptionally high as we’re a year out from the Olympic Games.

“The duet hopes to place and score well as a stepping stone towards the World Championships in July and we are hoping to be as close to 80 points in all the team events.

“It’s going to be a busy few weeks but all the athletes have been working hard on a camp in Bristol and are relishing the opportunity to perform on these big stages.”

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Artistic Swimming – Canada has gained a place with a duet gold in Olympic 2020

Artistic Swimmers, Jacqueline Simoneau, and Claudia Holzner established a pre-swimming regular routine to calm their nerves when they joined forces as an artistic tandem. It involves a declaration of trust and a reference to a Disney character.

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Artistic Swimming – Canada has gained a place with a duet gold in Olympic 2020

Simoneau, of Chambly, and Calgary’s Holzner combined to defend Canada’s artistic swimming duet title Wednesday at the Pan American Games and earned Canada a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the process.

The Canadian duet finished first with a total score of 180.0343 points. And Mexico was second with 174.3661 points scores, and the United States was third with 170.6698 points scores.

“It was such a superior moment,” Holzner said. “Before we swam our coach was like, ‘Jackie, go for a second Olympics,’ and ‘Claudia, become an Olympian.'”

Simoneau and Holzner payback to the pool later Wednesday as part of Canada’s nine-swimmer team in the competition, with another Olympic berth on the line, and took the top of the platform for the second time with 179.6731 points. Mexico took the second position with 175.1243 points and the U.S. scored 170.8114 points.

Simoneau and Holzner, who were both followers of Canada’s gold-medal winning team entry at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, started swimming together as a duet in 2017. Simoneau said she and Holzner came up with a unique pre-swim routine the moment of their partnership was fashioned.

“We hold each other’s hands and we look each other in the eye and we say, ‘I trust you.’ And then there’s a secret word that we say right before we go.”

“We came up with this the moment we started swimming together. It’s a ridiculous word, but for us, it just means having calm confidence. It’s Perry. Perry the platypus. It’s a TV character on the Disney show “Phineas and Ferb.”

Canada's Artistic Swimming a duet
Artistic Swimming – Canada has gained a place with a duet gold in Olympic 2020

Canada swept artistic swimming events at the Toronto Games, with Simoneau and Karine Thomas gained duet gold to go with the team victory. Simoneau and Thomas went on to place seventh at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Later Wednesday, gymnast Ellie Black of Halifax added to her record Pan Am medal haul with a silver medal in the women’s beam event, her fifth medal this year. Black won 10 medals from the last two Tournaments to become Canada’s most adorned Pan Am gymnast.

Black had a chance at an 11th medal but finished fourth in the floor competition. There was extra good news for Canada, though, with Brooklyn Moors of Cambridge, Ont., winning gold.

“It’s unbelievable to come away with one more medal,” Black said. “It’s great for this team that we’ve done so well.”

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Tokyo Summer Games 2020 – Olympic Artistic swimming

At the turn of the twentieth century, synchronized swimming was known as aquatic ballet. The first recorded contest took place in 1891 in Berlin, Germany. Many swimming clubs were formed at that time and the sport developed simultaneously in Canada.

In addition to being a sport, it has often been a popular addition to Music Hall nights and in theaters of larger varieties in London or Glasgow. That’s equipped with water tanks on stage for this purpose. Sports enthusiasts from around the world can purchase Olympic Artistic Swimming Tickets online to enjoy its stunning performances.

Tokyo Summer Games 2020
Tokyo Summer Games 2020

The first Olympic event was held at the 1952 Olympic Games, where Helsinki officials welcomed Kay Curtis and lit a torch in his honor. Curtis died in 1980 but synchronized swimming did not become an official Olympic sport until the 1984 Summer Olympics.

It was not until 1968 that FINA officially recognized synchronized swimming as the fourth most water sports, next to swimming, diving on platform and water polo.

From 1984 to 1992, the Summer Olympics included solo and duet competitions, but both were abandoned in 1996 for the team competition. However, at the 2000 Olympics, the duo competition was reinstated and now appears alongside the team competition.

Artistic swimming has been part of the Aquatic World Championships since the beginning. From 1973 to 2001, the world swimming championships were held in solo, duet and team. In 2003, a combination of free routine, including solo, duet, and team elements, was added. In 2005, it was renamed free combination.

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Tokyo Summer Games 2020
Tokyo Summer Games 2020

For the team competitions, the highest ranking NOC in each of the five continental championships, with the exception of the host country, Japan, will be qualified. The remaining NOCs will be able to qualify for the top two places at the 2019 World Aquatic Championships and the top three places in the Olympic qualifying tournament.

For the duo, the highest ranked NOC in each of the five continental championships without a qualifying team will ensure a secure place. The other seven NOCs ranked first will be selected as part of the Olympic qualifying tournament. The 10 NOCs already qualified in the team competition will automatically qualify a duo.

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