GB synchronised swimmers training hard

02 August 2012 / 20:28

Britain's synchronised swimmers have made their training as harsh as possible in a bid to make competing easier, their team leader has said.

Both the duet and the eight-strong team wear weights while practising their routines, spending more than 42 hours per week training and five hours in the pool at a time.

Team leader Biz Price said: "Right from the beginning we try to make the training as challenging as possible so that competitions are easier. That's basically been the philosophy from the beginning, to give them as many challenges and opportunities in training so that they're learning how to deal with different situations.

"It's quite critical that we make it quite difficult and challenging because it's being able to do the same thing under pressure. We have to try to create as many pressurised moments as possible once we've decided what the tricks and the skills and the degree of difficulty that we're going to execute.

"It's the execution of that degree of difficulty, just like the gymnasts, that's what we've got to nail."

British hopefuls Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici competed together in a duet in Beijing and came 14th, and last year climbed to ninth in the World Championships. Federici said: "We train 42 plus hours per week at our sport, but obviously being an athlete is a 24/7 job. When you get home from training you have to recover properly, sleep and eat well.

"The hours in the pool are very intense, we train five hours in the pool at a time. That's doing our routines lots of times, and we wear weights doing our routines so that when we take them off we'll be higher and stronger in the water."

The pair also do oversplits - where the angle of the legs is more than 180 degrees - so that they become more flexible and are flat in the water.

Randall said: "We've trained so much together, Olivia and I, for the duet that we have a really good understanding, a feeling of each other when we're swimming. So if one person's going to go early we can normally feel that, and we make sure that we're synchronised in our routine."

They are aiming to come sixth in the team competition - with a squad that includes Randall's sister Asha - and between sixth and eighth in the duet, with medal hopes pinned on Rio de Janeiro.