Twelve girls who form part of the U12 National Synchronised Swimming Team have achieved excellent results over the weekend in an international competition, known as ‘Little Frogs at Slavia’, which was held in Bratislava, Slovakia on the 4th of November 2017. This year’s edition of the competition consisted of more than 150 athletes from 7 countries: Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and Malta.
The girls competed on an individual basis in three categories according to their age. Girls aged 8 and younger competed in Frogs I, 10 years old and younger in Frogs II and 12 years old and younger in the category called Frogs III.
Ema Cassar placed 1st in the Frogs I category, achieving the first ever gold medal for Malta in this age group. Patricia Borg placed fourth in the Frogs II category, while her team mates Zea Montford and Emma Calleja reached places eight and nine respectively.
The Maltese girls who competed in the Frogs III category also did very well, the majority of which ranked within the first 20 out of 54 competing athletes. Davida Bonnano, who will also perform in the U13 squad at the end of November, ranked best in 7th place, only one point behind to 3rd place.
All twelve Maltese girls later performed their combination routine, which is a 4-minute dance to music. Since the girls are so young, the routine was not judged, however received much appraise from all judges, coaches and audience present.
The U12 National Team was selected in May 2017 through a local competition, where the athletes competed against each other and the top 12 were selected to train together for up to 8 hours per week in preparation for the competition in Bratislava. Their sessions consisted of numerous hours in the pool with synchronised swimming coaches Anja Kuehn, Hannah Preca Trapani and Biljana Zivotic, as well as gymnastics and swimming classes with respective specialised coaches.
The Maltese team was made up of Thea Blake, Tara Bonnici Peresso, Tereza Cassar, Nicole Felice Tomic, Emily Ruggier, Maya Tonna and Sophie Zammit, besides Cassar, Borg, Montford, Calleja and Bonnano.
Synchronised swimming has been introduced as a competitive sport in Malta in 2010 by Saho Harada, a Japanese Olympic medallist who dreamt to inspire young Maltese athletes to take up this sport. Her dream was the foundation for today’s Synchronized Swimming Academy, which is under the wing of Sport Malta. Classes are held daily at the Tal-Qroqq National Pool Complex for both recreational and competitive swimmers.
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