Success for Leanne and Laurel as synchro girls strike silver

Published on: 29 Jan 2018

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AN EMERGENCY appendix operation didn't stop synchronised swimmer Leanne Baker bagging a silver medal at a recent championships.

The Emersons Green teenager spent five days in hospital after she was rushed to Bristol's Children's Hospital to have her appendix removed.

But, just two months later, she was back in business, impressing judges with her skills in the water at the Synchronised Swimming Championships in Gloucester. 

Leanne, 14, and seven colleagues, including Laurel Allen, also from Emersons Green, took part in the national 13-15 years team event, securing silver for the City of Bristol Synchro Club.

The team finished ahead of teams from Salford, Walsall, Leeds and London but was pipped to the post by Reading who took gold.

Leanne and 13-year-old Laurel, who attends John Cabot Academy, won their place in the team event after taking part in an individual 'figures' competition the previous day where they had to demonstrate to 24 judges four individual exercises, or ‘skills’ as they are known.

Leanne's dad Mike said: "Leanne came 42nd out of the top 180 girls in the country, an excellent achievement, and was only seventeen positions from being asked to trial for the England team. 

"Her overall points score was high enough for her to represent the City of Bristol Synchro Club in the national 13-15 years team event where she won silver.

"Leanne won silver medals in the same competition in 2015 and 2016, although this year was slightly more impressive as two months prior to the competition she spent five days in hospital whilst she had an emergency appendix-removal operation. 

"In the immediate run-up to the competition she was training seven times a week to get back to full fitness."

Leanne, a student at Winterbourne International Academy, said: "It was extremely hard work but it was worth it in the end, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my coach."

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