Olivia Federici believes she is on course to edge further into the global elite at the World Championships in Barcelona.
The former Portsmouth Victoria talent and her partner Jenna Randall claimed their best-ever finish on the world stage when they ranked eighth in the technical duet earlier this week.
And now they lie ninth heading into the duet free final after yesterday’s preliminaries in the Catalan capital.
The British pair scored 87.680 for their ‘Ravens’ routine which they originally choreographed for last year’s Olympic Games.
They finished ninth with the same routine at London 2012 but have been working with former Japanese and Chinese national coach Masayo Imura to improve for this season.
‘That was a really good swim,’ said Federici.
‘We were first up, which is always nerve-wracking, but we are really happy with that.
‘We have changed the beginning of this routine since the Olympics.
‘We are now starting with a lift to really give an impact.
‘Working with Masayo, we have simplified some things so we can show more accent, height and definition in the routine.
‘At the Olympics, it was great but perhaps too fast because the judges couldn’t see all the things we were doing.
‘So we’ve slowed it down a little bit to show the great movements and make it easier for the judges.’
Federici will also compete in the team event prelims before tomorrow’s duet final – where the aim will be to improve on the ninth place at last year’s Olympics and edge closer to the sport’s most powerful nations – Russia, Spain, China and Canada.
‘The atmosphere here is great, synchro here is a really big sport and everyone is very enthusiastic and clearly passionate about it,’ she said.
‘We are excited about our progress and looking forward to the final.’
n Britain’s athletes are funded by UK Sport as the nation’s high performance sports agency responsible for the strategic investment of £355m of National Lottery and Exchequer funding in Olympic and Paralympic sports preparing for Rio 2016. The ambition is to win more medals than in London 2012 while building a stronger more sustainable high-performance system. More details at uksport.gov.uk
VICTORIA MAKE SPLASH
n Summer Sport, from page 23