OLIVIA Federici believes Britain’s synchronised swimmers are on a mission to be taken seriously as they go into today’s final round of the Olympic team competition.
Former Portsmouth Victoria member Federici and her seven team-mates continued that quest yesterday in the technical routine, scoring 87.300 – 42.500 for execution and 43.800 for overall impression – to lie sixth in the overall standings and 10.800 points behind leaders Russia.
That sent spectators at the Aquatics Centre home happy, but it is the wider world the 22-year-old hopes to win over with a strong finish this afternoon.
For her, the Olympics is a window of opportunity for her sport.
‘I think it’s massive,’ said Federici. ‘Synchronised swimming doesn’t get that much exposure as some of the other sports, so it’s a good thing to get us out there.
‘That way we can educate people about what our sport is about – how tough it is, how hard we’re working, how much we want to do well in our sport at the Olympics.
‘Having it on the BBC helps in getting it out there.
‘Doing well also helps for funding and funding from UK sport has really helped us.
‘We wouldn’t be where we are now without the funding. We were able to get our coach and we were able to train full-time.
‘For any child who is into swimming or gymnastics or dancing, anything like that, it’s such a great team sport.
‘It’s very challenging and it’s good to show people that.’
The 2010 Commonwelth Games silver medallist added a fine performance in today’s free routine would help raise the bar even higher.
‘We’ll sit down and look at the scores, see where everyone else is in relation and then see what we could improve on in the free routine,’ she said.
‘We’ll have a look at yesterday’s video as well and see if we can carry anything over into our free.
‘Hopefully we can produce another great performance.
‘It carries on our journey towards future Olympics, starting with Rio.’
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