Sporting scholar Kate Shortman makes history by winning Britain’s first-ever artistic swimming medal at World Aquatics Championships
University of Bath sporting scholar Kate Shortman was overwhelmed after securing Great Britain’s first-ever Artistic Swimming World Championship medal with a history-making performance in Fukuoka, Japan.
The Bill Whiteley Scholar won bronze in the Women’s Solo Free competition on Wednesday with a superbly-executed routine which earned her 219.9542 points, only beaten by home favourite Yukiko Inui and Austria’s Vasiliki Alexandri.
Shortman, who studies International Management and Modern Languages (French), said: “I can’t even put it into words, I am so excited. This is just a crazy step in the right direction for Great Britain, hopefully putting us on the map a bit more.
“It hasn’t set in yet. It’s always something I’ve dreamed of. This is my fourth World Championships, I did my first Worlds when I was 15 and I always looked up to the medallists and was in awe of them. So to think today that I’m stood on the podium, it’s just crazy.”
A ground-breaking bronze medal and a phenomenal performance in Fukuoka🙌🇬🇧🇯🇵
Bravo, Kate Shortman👏🌎
— British Swimming (@britishswimming) July 19, 2023
It is a second international medal of the season for Shortman, who won Women’s Duet bronze with Izzy Thorpe at last month’s European Games, and comes as the British squad make a successful transition to a new scoring system designed to be less subjective.
“I just swam my heart out and was really thinking about staying precise, staying controlled and not getting too excited with the prelims score,” added Shortman, who was the second-highest scorer in qualifying. “I didn’t want to run away with it, I just wanted to control it and I did the best I could.
“I didn’t want to go too high risk, I know a few of the other soloists did and unfortunately it didn’t pay off. They’ve been really strict at this competition with base marks – I wanted to do the best I could and that meant a no-base-mark swim.”
“WE’VE FINALLY DONE IT ON THE BIGGEST STAGE,” says Kate Shortman after her historic World 🥉
“Artistic swimming in 🇬🇧 is coming up, we’re coming through. We need some funding because we’re going for the Olympics & WE WANT A MEDAL IN THAT TOO!”
— Nick Hope – the athlete’s journalist (@NickHopeTV) July 19, 2023
It’s been a busy week in Fukuoka for Shortman, who placed 12th in the Women’s Solo Technical. She also finished eighth in the Women’s Duet Technical with Thorpe, with the duo in action again on Thursday in the Women’s Duet Free.
Picture courtesy of British Swimming