Sophie Randle experienced International success at the weekend, returning from Croatia with the fantastic achievement of two gold medals.
Sophie, 15, a pupil at Rugby High School was selected to represent England under 15s at the Primorje Synchronised Swimming Cup - held in the superb facilities within the town of Rijeka.
The weekend was the culmination of five month’s intense training, with Sophie spending large amounts of time at the National training centres at Aldershot and Crystal Palace - the level of dedication required to succeed at this standard of sport.
Synchronised swimming includes a number of different elements and requires a great range of skills including flexibility, core strength, performance and synchronisation with both the music and other team members.
England arrived at the competition to join teams from a number of Countries including Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Sweden, Israel and Croatia.
Sophie’s first success came within the Duet event. Paired with England captain, Jorja Brown, the two girls maintained great energy to perform their routine, initially choreographed for the Senior GB Duet at the Beijing Olympics.
Drawn to swim first within the competition, the girls had a nervous wait before the final placings were confirmed and it was with great joy that the great friends took their place on the podium to receive their hard-earned medals.
Throughout the week, Team England had looked strong favourites for the ‘blue-riband’ team event. The national squad drew a number of favourable comments from other international coaches marking their noticeable level of improvement in the last 12 months.
Performing to the Queen number, ‘We Will Rock You’, the girls delivered to their ability and lived up to their billing as competition favourites.
The fast routine proved to be a real winner with the large crowd and ensured a wide margin victory with the judges.
So Sophie had the great achievement of receiving of gold medals followed by the playing of the National Anthem twice in the same weekend.
She is very grateful to the great supporting team and family around her - especially Rugby Synchro Head Coach, Hannah Dudley and her Assistant Coach, Linda Peake. Sophie has also received great support from DC Leisure at the Ken Marriott Leisure Centre and from her personal fitness trainer, Callum Hardingham.
Also in Croatia was Hannah Dudley, who was part of the England Management team and operated as the England judging representative throughout the event - a great honour for Rugby Swimming Club.
Sophie will now perform next week as part of a special event hosted by UK Sport.
The National Senior and Junior Synchronised Swimming Teams will demonstrate their routines in an event especially organised to wish the GB Squad the best of luck for the 2012 Olympics.