Olivia Allison on the future of synchro
WHEN UK Sport partitioned the private-sector pot among the Olympic sports last December, there were a number of eye-brows raised, not least because of a 110 per cent increase in synchronised swimming funding.
SEEMLESS: Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison in synchronised swimming action (Getty Images)
With sports such as shooting, which produced two medals (one of which was gold) just nine years ago, feeling the brunt of the £50million shortfall, aquatic acrobatics were rolling in it.
With no rich Olympic history to speak of and no household names to speak of, the decision was called into question, but it may not be long before Olivia Allison and Jenna Randall are making waves in Olympic circles.
The duo achieved a promising finish of 14th at the Beijing Olympics and Team GB have recently captured two bronze medals at the German Open.
After just three weeks off post-Beijing, the duo were back in training at the High Performance Centre in Aldershot, under the tutelage of Canadian performance director Biz Price.
And Allison insists all the hard work is set to pay off as synchronised swimming continues to go from strength to strength in preparation for London 2012.
"The German Open was absolutely fantastic ," said Allison. "The past six months have been tough on Jenna and I because we have to compete in lots of different routines which means a lot of extra training.
"At the Olympics we only had the two routines for the duet but if we qualify in all of the events at the World Championships I will compete in ten routines and Jenna will be competing in 12."
"Although we took time off after Beijing we were still required to keep up with our cardio vascular and weights work to make sure our fitness levels didn't drop.
"Since Beijing Jenna and I were included in the training for the team and this has been tough but great."
Allison has competed in ten different countries to date, but is green with envy towards the GB juniors, who will get the chance to showcase their talents in home waters at the European Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships in April.
"I am quite jealous of the girls that will get to compete in Gloucester," added Allison. "I missed my last year of juniors and I think it would have been a great event to have competed in. I am, however, hoping to go and support the girls during the competition.
"It is great that we are holding these Championships in Britain because it helps us improve our name on a world stage. People will come to Britain and recognise the fantastic facilities and the development of the sport."