Tauranga Synchro continues to produce top quality athletes on the national and international stage.
Four Tauranga athletes have returned from showcasing their skills at the elite world level after dominating in their respective age groups at the North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships at Baywave Aquatic Centre this month.
Eden Worsley, 16, Isobel Pettit, 18, Karlina Steiner, 14, and Eva Morris, 20, competed in the Synchro America Open in Los Angeles, part of the prestigious FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2018 featuring top synchronised swimmers from around the world.
Papamoa-based athlete Morris represented New Zealand in the senior solo events, finishing seventh overall. The highly experienced swimmer achieved a personal best with a score over 7.1, the first time a New Zealand solo performance had done so internationally since 2013.
Worsley and Pettit also achieved personal bests in junior duet, while the youngest member of the group, Steiner, competed for the first time internationally in the junior category and achieved a personal best for her solos.
The influence of coach Lara Teixeira Cianciarulo cannot be underestimated in the continued improvement in the overall standards of synchro swimming in the Western Bay of Plenty.
The three-time Olympian captained Brazil at the Rio Olympics in 2016 before moving to Tauranga later that year. She travelled to Los Angeles to prepare the athletes for the America Open.
Cianciarulo said the four Tauranga athletes had made her proud.
"They showed the world how Kiwi athletes are developing and improving in this fantastic sport."
All four athletes were now focused on perfecting their routines for the National Synchronised Swimming Championships in Auckland in October. Their holidays will be spent training with the New Zealand team as they prepared for their next international competitions in Brazil and Argentina at the end of the year.
"It's wonderful for the girls to have the chance to swim and learn from international competitors and coaches," Cianciarulo said.
"These sorts of experiences offer a real opportunity to shape our athletes and motivate them. And it's also an opportunity for us to encourage international athletes to come to New Zealand and compete at our national competition."
While in the USA, the Tauranga athletes and coach travelled to Las Vegas to watch former Olympic synchronised swimmers perform in the Cirque du Soleil show O.
The show, based entirely in a 7m-deep pool, inspired the athletes to the career possibilities available to exceptional synchronised swimmers after their competitive careers had finished.
"Being in a show like O is definitely a dream to work towards in the future for our Kiwi athletes," Cianciarulo said.
Tauranga Synchro was always on the lookout for new swimmers to join its growing club.
Beginners train at 9am at Baywave every Saturday during term time. Contact Jo on 027 543 1697, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook taurangasynchroNZ