Personal Best Adds Gloss to Competition to Remember for Stackpole

Synchronised Swimming | Published: Tue 16 August 2016
Synchronised Swimming: Duet Technical Routine
Athlete: Rose Stackpole
Venue: Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre

Australia’s synchronised swimming duet of Rose Stackpole and Nikita Pablo have achieved a great deal in a short period of time, including a personal best performance in the technical routine on Day 10 of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Living in different cities and having only been paired together four months ago, the duo were impressive across both days of preliminary competition, to make the most of their Olympic opportunity, with the nine-member teams competition still to come.

Stackpole and Pablo were second to perform at Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre on Monday on the second and final day of the preliminary round.

To the sound of the Australia’s iconic didgeridoo they performed technical elements including the cyclone continuous spin, fishtail continuous spin and porpoise twist walkout seemingly with ease.

The judges awarded them 73.6360 points, including 22.1000 for execution. Yesterday they scored 74.7667 in the free routine bringing their total to 148.4027.

Stackpole, 21, said it was another great day in the clear, blue pool for the Australians and they would carry this momentum and experience into the team event later this week.

"It was really good, we did another good swim, it was another personal best score for us so we’re really happy with that,” she said.

"I think for us to have done it (performed) we can go into the team, we know what to expect now and I feel like we can really be the centre for the team and calm everything down in the team and give everyone a little bit of confidence.”

Pablo, 21, said the technical routine was always the more challenging of the two, with technique being the principle judging criteria.

However, having already completed their free routine, the pair were able to focus on executing the swim they had been preparing for the four months since they began training together.

"This one is a more technical routine so I would say this is my difficult routine but I thought we did really well with that,” Pablo said.

"We clicked right away together, we just tried to make it work in the four months and I think we achieved that for this level.”

Australia were the second team to swim today following competition leader Russia, who has won gold in the duet event at the past four Olympic Games.

Un-intimidated by the competition, Stackpole was grateful for the opportunity to mix it among the heavyweights.

"We’re really lucky to be at this competition with all the best athletes in the world. It’s really inspiring for us to see that and it motivates us to go forward to the next Olympics,” she said.

The top 12 teams of yesterday and today’s combined scores will progress to the final round. The Australians finished 24th and will not progress to the finals.

Candice Keller