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Ten girls between the age of ten to thirteen who form part of the U13 National Synchronized Swimming Team have achieved great results over the past weekend at the international competition called ‘Flanders Cup’, which was held in Kortrijk, Belgium between the 25th and 26th of November 2017. The 26th edition of the competition consisted of more than 90 athletes representing National teams or clubs including Switzerland, Belgium, Belarus, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Hungary, Serbia, Poland and Malta. For the first time in the history of the competition, two boys from Kazakhstan and Czech Republic have participated along with their female team members.

The Maltese girls first competed in the figures, an individual event where 4 different combinations of movements have to be performed in a slow and controlled way without music. The Maltese squad gained fantastic results with Thea Grima Buttigieg placing 12th, whilst duet partner Kristina Camenzuli placed 20th and solo swimmers Charlotte Spencer (21st) and Maya Galea (30th) respectively out of 93 participating athletes.

After the figures, the duet with Camenzuli/ Grima Buttigieg competed against 14 other duets, facing strong opponents of national team swimmers from Switzerland, Poland, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan. With a combined score of figure and routine points they achieved a considerable result with a 6th rank overall.

On Sunday, Malta continued to show strong performances in the solo category in which thirteen year old Charlotte Spencer impressed the judges and placed 4th out of 12 routines and one year younger Maya Galea showed off her potential and overtook a more advanced swimmer from Greece in the pre swimmer section.

Camenzuli, Grima Buttigieg, Galea and Spencer together with team mates Kelise Agius, Davida Bonnano, Gabrielle Cook and Isabella Sammut later performed a 3-minute team routine to a medley of songs from famous 50’s and 60’s Jazz musicals and completed their great results with a 5th place in this event. For two girls in this team, it was the first time that they have performed in front of an international jury. The two reserve swimmers Thea Blake and Sophie Zammit cheered for their team members together with parents and audience.

Team Malta showed their overall strength within the Nations Cup ranking, where points were given for each place achieved in the different events of solo, duet and team. Malta placed 2nd overall, only beaten by Switzerland who had won each of the 3 categories.

The U13 National Team was coached by Anja Kuehn, Sophie Hackenbruch, Hannah Preca Trapani and newest addition to the local coaching scene, Biljana Zivotic.

Synchronised Malta Academy could not do what it does without the generous co operation from SportMalta.

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