London 2012 Olympics: Top six target for synchronised swimmer Federici

ST ALBANS’ synchronised swimmer Olivia Federici has set her sights firmly on a place in the top six at the London 2012 Olympics, claiming these Games are just the beginning of her Olympic odyssey.

Federici, 22, is set for her first London 2012 appearance at the Aquatics Centre on Sunday with Jenna Randall in the duet event.

The pair will also take part in the team event next week as Great Britain enter a nine-strong synchronised swimming squad for the first time in their Olympic history.

Having finished 14th at the Beijing Games in 2008, Federici and Randall have been on the way up ever since and have achieved finishes of 10th and eighth in the two ensuing World Championships.

In her sport, Federici is only too aware that moving up the rankings is not something that happens overnight – and as a result, she believes it will be at Rio 2016 and not London 2012 where she will be troubling the podium.

“We finished eighth at the World Championships so we’re hoping to creep up and finish top six this year in London,” said former St Albans Girls’ School pupil Federici, who is now based in Portsmouth.

“We’re not just stopping in 2012 but we’re looking to compete at 2016 and 2020 as well.

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“In synchro it’s really hard to move up one space in one or two years, so we’re working hard to make that happen.

“This year Olympics is the big one, but we’re focused on the big competitions coming up like the World Championships next year.

“If we focus on those we can take up those next levels so when we get to Rio we can be pushing for those medals.”

While Russia and Spain are the dominant forces when it comes to the Olympic stage, Federici and Randall have proved themselves a force to be reckoned with in the Commonwealth, claiming silver at Delhi 2010.

But Federici believes it’s inevitable that Great Britain establish themselves as a global force, pointing to the fact that they have youth on their side.

She added: “Our team is very young for synchronised swimming, our oldest swimmer is 24. If you look at Spain and Russia, who are the best countries in the world, their squad goes from late 20s to early 30s.

“So that bodes really well for the future. We’ve got some real strength in depth now and some really good youngsters who will take the sport further for Great Britain.

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