British synchro pair start with ninth

05 August 2012 / 20:42

Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici started off their Olympic synchronised swimming campaign with ninth place in the duet technical routine as the Russian domination showed no sign of abating.

The pair scored 88.100 points to improve one place on their technical showing at last year's World Championships in Shanghai.

Russia led the way with 98.200 out of a possible 100 ahead of China (96.100pts) and Spain (96.000).

Huge strides have been made in the sport in Britain since Biz Price's appointment as national performance director in 2007. In September of that year a high performance centre was set up at army barracks in Aldershot and central funding allowed the athletes to go full-time.

This has reaped huge rewards over a relatively short space of time.

Randall and Federici were 14th a year later at the Beijing Games, the first Britons to compete in synchro since 1992 when Kerry Shacklock and Laila Vakil finished sixth.

Second at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, last year saw the pair finish 10th in the technical routine at the World Championships in Shanghai.

Seventh at this year's European Championships represented a two-place drop on their previous outing. On Sunday their appearance at the Aquatics Centre prompted a raucous welcome and following their routine there was a standing ovation and a sea of Union Flags.

The technical routine involves performing predetermined elements that must be executed in a specific order. Having finished ninth they are in a good position to progress to Tuesday's duet final with the free routine coming on Monday, a top-12 finish over the two routines will see them into the decider.

Randall said: "It was great. Hearing the crowd cheer for us when we were walking out was fantastic, it gave us that extra little buzz when we were swimming."