Rio 2016: Praise for St Albans synchronised swimmer Olivia Federici's "potential"
PUBLISHED: 10:22 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:22 16 August 2016
Compliments have been flowing for St Albans synchronised swimmer Olivia Federici, despite her failing to qualify at Rio 2016 with duet partner Katie Clark.
The pair made a promising start after achieving a score of 79.9667 for their free routine on Sunday (14), but were placed 17th yesterday (Monday), when their total points reached 160.7317 after swimming in the Duets Technical Routine to the classic movie theme tune ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.
Olivia, who until recently was working as a teaching assistant at Maple Primary School in St Albans, said: “We really wanted to go out there and smash it.
“We were a bit disappointed with yesterday (Sunday) because it wasn’t a great swim and we know we were capable of a better score.
“There are a lot of elements that have to be absolutely perfect in this event, so we have been working really hard on them to get them right. Our coaches are happy and it felt like a really good swim which is pleasing. We gave it our all.”
One synchronised swimming supporter tweeted after the technical routine that it was “amazing” to see Olivia and Katie “climb eight places [in] the world rankings despite no funding”.
British Swimming said the pair “really showed their potential”.
Olivia, 26, recently made a successful return to synchronised swimming after retiring from the sport three years ago, after competing in London 2012.
She said: “Nine months ago, we didn’t know if we would be qualifying for the Olympics so to be here is pretty amazing.”
Olivia and Katie, 22, claimed a spot for Team GB in Rio after taking first place in the Duet Free second round at the Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament earlier this year.
Among those praising the pair for their efforts at Rio 2016 was Spanish retired synchronised swimmer Andrea Fuentes, a double Olympic silver medallist at London 2012 who worked with Olivia and Katie to hone their skills at training camps in Mallorca.
She pointed out on Instagram that they had boosted Great Britain’s synchronised swimming by eight places in the world ranking “in only eight months swimming together as a duet”.
Andrea said both athletes were “the best a coach can have because of their mind and motivation. I feel blessed to had [sic] the chance to help you in some special moments of this special year. You deserve even more than this. I’m proud of you guys!”
It appears the duo are already looking ahead to their next competition, with Katie saying: “The World Championships next year are a big goal for us and we want to keep taking GB up the rankings so hopefully it is onwards and upwards from here.”