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GB synchro team unveiled
Sisters Jenna and Asha Randall have been included in a nine-strong synchronised swimming team for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics but the national performance director Biz Price has warned it may be unrealistic to expect a home medal in the sport.
Jenna Randall, 23, and Olivia Federici, 22, will be competing at their second Games, after finishing 14th in the duet competition in Beijing four years ago. They join Yvette Baker, Katie Clark, Katie Dawkins, Jennifer Knobbs, Vicki Lucass, Katie Skelton and Asha Randall, in the team competition, each of whom are making their Olympic debut.
But coach and competitors are adamant finishing on the team or duet podium is unlikely, as Biz Price, the national performance director, said: "It would probably be reaching a little too far. Knowing our competitors out there and their skills and what they're able to do, we're not quite up at that level yet."
She added: "Some of them have been preparing for 20 years for this and we've been preparing for five at this level.
"We've really got our goals set out at this Olympics and over the next four years and we really want to maintain our improvement that we've had.
"When we started our full-time training in 2007, we went to the World Championships and we were 22nd in the duet and now we're top eight. In synchro that's quite unheard of and we just want to continue that improvement."
That sharp rise in world rankings is thanks largely to Price, who admits the team was very much an amateur outfit when she arrived five years ago.
"When I first came in, not to be rude, I didn't call them athletes, I just said they were pedestrians doing synchronised swimming," she said. "We've really worked very very hard to develop the athlete as a whole and move them up quickly through the physical side of that.
"We've really walked a tightrope on developing the skills and the physical athletes that are needed [while trying to prevent injury]."
The announcement comes after the team competed at the invitational test event at the Olympic Aquatics Centre last month, where they finished eighth, leaving them with much work to do ahead of the Games.