An incredible second World Championships medal in the space of three days saw University of Bath sporting scholar Kate Shortman and artistic swimming partner Izzy Thorpe book a Paris 2024 Olympic Games spot for Team GB in the duet programme.
Having made history with their Tech Duet silver in Doha on Monday, British Swimming’s first-ever Duet medal at a World Champs, the Tokyo Olympians delivered again in the Free Duet final as they scored 247.26 to win bronze behind China and the Netherlands.
Their combined tallies across the technical and free events also ensured the British pair were the top-ranked eligible duet in the race for Paris 2024 qualification, subject to ratification following the final team event.
Shortman, who studies International Management and Modern Languages (French) at the University, said: “It’s such a relief to say we have qualified, we have finally qualified! It’s incredible, honestly. If people knew how much it takes to get to an Olympic Games, it really should not be underestimated.”
The duo’s free routine was based on the phoenix, symbolising the regeneration of artistic swimming following last year’s rule changes which made the judging system more objective, and that switch is something the British pair are thriving on.
“The fact that we are in contention for an Olympic medal is just something we never thought we’d be able to say,” said Shortman, who is supported by a Bill Whiteley Sporting Scholarship as she pursues her dual career of study and sport.
“The rule change has been incredible. It’s amazing for the sport, it’s so engaging to see the sport and to see different people on the podium. We are just so excited with what’s to come.”
It is a third World Championships medal for Shortman in eight months, following her ground-breaking Solo Free bronze at the 2023 event in Japan.
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With thanks to Team Bath