Krakow 2023: Tomblin and Crass win historic first medal of European Games

Ranjuo Tomblin hopes his historic exploits at the European Games will show that artistic swimming is ‘a sport for anyone’.

Tomblin combined with Beatrice Crass to earn a brilliant bronze in Poland, Team GB’s first medal of the competition, with a stunning mixed duet technical performance which saw the 17-year-old become the first-ever British male to win a major medal in artistic swimming.

Having already written his name into the history books as the first male to represent Team GB in the sport, trailblazing Tomblin went one step further as he and Crass’ score of 203.4916 proved enough to secure a spot on the podium.

"I just honestly can't believe it," he said.

"I'm still shaking a bit but I hope that by winning this medal I can encourage other boys into the sport and show it’s for everyone.

"It's not a sport just for females, it’s a sport for anyone. Just look how many males there are, there's eight mixed duets here and it’s growing and growing – the ultimate goal is to see more boys join the sport."

The two teenagers are best friends outside the water and quickly added to their medal haul with a second bronze in three days, also earning a podium spot in the mixed free.

They are the first ever mixed duet pairing to compete for Team GB, with the event not yet on the Olympic programme.

At Paris 2024, men will be able to compete in artistic swimming for the first time in Olympic history, with a maximum of two males allowed in the Team events.

Read more: Meet Ranjuo Tomblin, Team GB's first male artistic swimmer

With hopes that the mixed duet may be included for the 2028 LA Games, the duo now have a raft of experience behind them, with European Games bronze to add to their European Junior Championships bronze last year, when Tomblin also picked up a men's solo silver.

"We're so excited because this is such an honour," Tomblin said.

"We've been wanting to represent Team GB, get in that kit and looking down at the rings, it is really an honour and we are really happy that we are able to do that.

"We never thought this would happen and I’m just so proud to be one of the first Team GB medallists.”

Crass added: "Getting onto the podium, being able to stand there after all the training we've done, and when we’re maybe going through hard days of training, it really does make it all worthwhile – especially doing it together.”

In their mixed duet technical, Tomblin and Crass performed to an upbeat Charleston number, earning a score of 117.0916 in elements and 86.4000 info their artistic impression.

"We were facing each other, looking at each other before we went in, hyping each other up and making sure each other was okay," she said.

"We were going through our last-minute corrections, taking lots of deep breaths and watching out for each other.

"It was helpful for me to be in the pool before with the team yesterday - getting that experience being in the competition pool, seeing the judges and getting used to looking at them and presenting the routine."

Sportsbeat 2023