University of Bath sporting scholar Kate Shortman made artistic swimming history at a second successive World Championships as she and partner Izzy Thorpe won an incredible Women’s Duet Technical silver in Doha.
It is Britain’s first-ever World Championships medal in a Duet event and came eight months after International Management and Modern Languages (French) student Shortman had achieved a similar breakthrough in the individual disciplines with Solo Free bronze at the 2023 Championships in Japan.
Shortman, supported by a Bill Whiteley Sporting Scholarship, and Thorpe – who train in Bristol – had placed third in Saturday’s prelims, so went into Monday’s finals as medal contenders.
They cemented that status in style, executing their Big Ben-inspired routine magnificently to receive an overall mark of 259.56. That put them in the lead with only two more pairings to compete – China, who went on to win gold, and Spain, who were unable to surpass the British duo’s score.
“To get a silver medal at World Champs, in Olympic year, is crazy,” said Shortman. “We are just really happy, I don’t think it will sink in for a couple of days.
“The confidence that this will give us will translate into the Free Duet [prelims on Wednesday]. We need to reset because we’ve got big plans for that as well, so we don’t want to let this affect that either way.”
After the Championships, the scores from both Tech Duet and Free Duet finals will be combined to work out who has qualified the final Olympic spots for Paris 2024.
It was a second notable achievement for University of Bath sporting scholars at the World Aquatics Championships, coming 48 hours after Economics and Mathematics student Leah Crisp had set the marathon swimming Olympic qualifying standard for Team GB.
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With thanks to Team Bath