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Artistic Swimming Qualification Tournament 2021

The Artistic Swimming Olympic Games Qualification tournament will be hosted over 10-13 Jun in Barcelona and in parallel, the City will also stage the Super Final of the Artistic Swimming World Series.

Artistic swimmers Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe have had to wait more than a year for the opportunity but are among 25 pairs in Barcelona battling for the right to win one of the final eight spots available in Japan. They head into the event brimming with confidence after their displays in Budapest where they set personal bests in both the free and technical routines – finishing seventh in both finals.

The teenagers are in action in the duet free preliminary on Saturday morning, with the duet technical in the afternoon. Scores are then added and the top 12 swim the free routine again on Sunday with a trip to the Olympics the prize on offer for the first eight. It promises to be an extremely competitive event.

Eleven countries – Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Egypt, South Africa and Australia – have already booked their tickets to the duet competition in Tokyo. A total of 22 teams will compete in the artistic swimming duet competition at the Games over 2 to 4 August. The remaining 11 spots up for grabs will be won by eight duets competing in Barcelona, with three teams also guaranteed a place in the duet free and technical contest.

Day 1


Team Technical Prelims


At the end of the first event of the Olympic qualifier competition in Barcelona, Italy led the rankings with a score of 90.7917. Second placed Spain (90.5506) and Greece (87.3990) in third were the other two teams provisionally qualified for Tokyo 2020.


Italy swam to the theme ‘We can be superheroes’.


Spain confidently performed a flamenco / Japanese sign language routine.


Greece’s Cats routine was their first in competition since the 2019 FINA World Championships.


Day 2


Team Free Routines


Italy, in first place after the Technical event, needed to score at least 92.1 to ensure their return to the Olympic Games.


Italy’s performed “Warriors” to “Final Fight” composed by Antongiulio Frulio which gave them the highest of the Team Free Routine scores, 93.2332, for a grand total of 184.0249 to win gold.


Spain’s Free routine themed “Darwin’s Theory of Evolution”, performed for the first time at the 2021 European Championships, scored 92.3000 points here, for a total of 182.8506 and earned silver.

Greece, in third place after the Technical Team event, used their Free routine to portray the Wings of Icarus and his escape from the waves. The spectacular and powerful acrobatic moves were performed to music composed by Josep Jordi Grau Saula and earned the team 88.6000 points and 175.9990 in total to capture bronze. That meant Team USA missed qualification for Tokyo by just 0.2108 points, despite scoring 88.9332, finishing fourth overall with a total of 175.7882.


Italy, Spain and Greece will therefore join previously qualified Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Japan, Russia and Ukraine. This completes the starting lists for the Team events in Tokyo.


Day 3


Great Britain's duet of Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe were lying seventh after the free routine with 85.2332 (25.7000 | 34.1332 | 25.4000). They placed sixth with another pb for their technical routine which scored 85.2230 (25.5000 | 25.8000 | 33.9230), the combined total of 170.4562 made sure they would be one of the 12 duets to compete in Sunday afternoon's final. The pair ranked seventh overall, agonisingly close to the Israeli duet in sixth on 170.5626.

Austria, France and the Netherlands were the early front runners in the preliminary Free Duet competition.


Austrian triplet sisters Anna-Maria Alexandri and Eirini Alexandri were the only duet to score higher than 90 - 91.2668 for their Free routine “Evil Dolls” and 90.5721 for their Technical routine, “Warriors” for a total of 181.8389 points., a huge improvement on their personal best.

Netherlands' twin sisters Bregje and Noortje de Brouwer ranked second, scoring 87.8000 for their Free routine theme which explored the galaxy, and a personal best 87.5620 for their Technical routine  “Bringing back our dreams”. The combined total was 175.3620 points.

Another set of twin sisters representing France, Laura and Charlotte Tremble ranked third overall with 175.2601 points after scoring 88.0668 for their Free routine “Amazons” and 87.1933 points for their Technical routine “Violence against women” to the song 'Heartbreak'.


Video: Have you ever danced salsa in the water? Colombia's Alvarez and Arango did it with their free routine "Caravan Palace", a mix of freedom and magic that inspired them when they started swimming.

1 – AUT 181.8389 
2 – NED 175.3620
3 – FRA 175.2601 
4 – BLR 175.2593
5 - USA 174.4740
6 - ISR 170.5626
7 - GBR 170.4562
8 - LIE 167.1357
9 - GER 165.6283
10 - COL 165.4481
11 - SUI 163.6525 
12 - BRA 163.2435

The top 9 combined scores in Sunday's free duet final will qualify for Tokyo.


Day 4


Great Britain's Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe performed their Spanish and Japanese Flamenco mix routine which was choreographed to a modern version of Flamenco music by Timmy Trumpet and Yuki Hayashi. They finished seventh overall, guaranteeing themselves a trip to the Olympic Games thanks to a combined total of 170.9562 points.

They join Austria, Belarus, France, Netherlands, USA, Israel, Liechtenstein and Colombia in qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games after this Final Free Duet event.

To symbolise just how far Kate and Izzy have progressed as a duo over recent years, under the tutelage of Paola Basso, they saved their best display of the meet for the final, recording a score of 85.7332, an improvement of 0.5 on their Duet Free prelim score and less than 0.1 shy of their best total from the recent Europeans.

"I think we do have such a sister bond. We know each other so well, we've been with each other for so long," said Shortman. "We were saying the other day, it's all about just enjoying training. If you enjoy it, it comes across in the swim. If you love what you're doing and you love the sport, then it's going to show and you're going to automatically bump up your score, so we just try to enjoy every second."

Thorpe added: "After lockdown, we've definitely come to the realisation that we just need to enjoy it. Before, I think we put too much pressure on ourselves, and now we are definitely here for fun, as everyone is. "We really just want to enjoy it all and make the most if it. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and with everyone following us and supporting us, we feel that love and support. We really do love the support and really appreciate it."

At the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Austria’s triplet sisters Anna-Maria Alexandri and Eirini Alexandri had finished 10th with 87.1000 points. They have improved consistently since then, achieving the highest score here - 92.2332 - for their routine themed “Evil Dolls”. Combining this with their Technical Duet score of 90.5721, they ranked first with 182.8053 points.


Video: Belarus had scored 87.6000 points in their prelim performance of “Witches”, placing them fourth going into the final.

Swimming again to the soundtrack from the movie “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” in the final, Vasilina Khandoshka and Daria Kulagina earned 89.0000 for the routine which when added to the 87.6593 from their Technical performance produced a total of 176.6593 to rank the pair second.


Twin sisters from France, Laura and Charlotte Tremble scored 89.2668 for their Free routine “Amazons”, inspired by and swam to music from the Cirque du Soleil production Toruk. The 87.1933 from the technical routine secured third place with 176.4601.



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Live streaming will be available on Eurovision Sport TV.

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