Source: Matchtight

Artistic swimmer Kate Shortman makes history

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University of Bath sporting scholar Kate Shortman was overwhelmed after securing Great Britain’s first-ever Artistic Swimming World Championship medal with a history-making performance in Fukuoka, Japan.

The Bill Whiteley Scholar won bronze in the Women’s Solo Free competition on Wednesday with a superbly-executed routine which earned her 219.9542 points, only beaten by home favourite Yukiko Inui and Austria’s Vasiliki Alexandri.

Shortman, who studies International Management and Modern Languages (French), told British Swimming: “I can’t even put it into words, I am so excited. This is just a crazy step in the right direction for Great Britain, hopefully putting us on the map a bit more.

“It hasn’t set in yet. It’s always something I’ve dreamed of. This is my fourth World Championships, I did my first Worlds when I was 15 and I always looked up to the medallists and was in awe of them. So to think today that I’m stood on the podium, it’s just crazy.”

It is a second international medal of the season for Shortman, who won Women’s Duet bronze with Izzy Thorpe at last month’s European Games, and comes as the British squad – who train in Bristol – make a successful transition to a new scoring system designed to be less subjective.

“I just swam my heart out and was really thinking about staying precise, staying controlled and not getting too excited with the prelims score,” added Shortman, who was the second-highest scorer in qualifying. “I didn’t want to run away with it, I just wanted to control it and I did the best I could.

“I didn’t want to go too high risk, I know a few of the other soloists did and unfortunately it didn’t pay off. They’ve been really strict at this competition with base marks – I wanted to do the best I could and that meant a no-base-mark swim.”

It’s been a busy week in Fukuoka for Shortman, who placed 12th in the Women’s Solo Technical. She also finished eighth in the Women’s Duet Technical with Thorpe, with the duo in action again on Thursday in the Women’s Duet Free final.

Shortman is one of 11 athletes who study or train at the University of Bath representing British Swimming at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships.

With thanks to Team Bath