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Team GB Advance To Finals In BMX, Artistic Swimming And Canoe Sprint On First Day Of European Games Competition 2023

Kraków, June 21, 2023 – The highly anticipated Kraków 2023 European Games kicked off with an exhilarating first day of sporting action, as Team GB athletes demonstrated their prowess across multiple disciplines.

The stars of the day advanced to the finals in artistic swimming, canoe sprint, and BMX freestyle park, setting the stage for a thrilling journey ahead.

In the BMX freestyle park qualifiers, Declan Brooks, Sasha Pardoe, Holly Pipe, and Kieran Reilly showcased remarkable skills, securing their well-deserved spots in tomorrow’s finals.

Among the group, Reilly, making his debut for Team GB in Kraków, expressed his relief in qualifying while acknowledging the added pressure. He emphasized the advantage of having a second chance in the finals, and his determination to vie for the gold medal.

Reflecting on his first experience representing Team GB, Reilly lauded the scale of the event and the support provided by the Athletes’ Village and Team GB staff.

With a successful day behind him, Reilly expressed his satisfaction in achieving his goal of making the top six and staying on his bike.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Worthington made the difficult decision to withdraw from the European Games, redirecting her focus towards her journey to Paris 2024—a testament to the athletes’ commitment to long-term goals and strategic planning.

Over in Oswiecim, the artistic swimming program commenced, captivating the audience with a captivating performance by Tokyo 2020 Olympians Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe.

The pair’s spectacular display in the Women’s Duet Free preliminaries secured them a commendable fifth-place finish.

Their achievement guarantees them a preferred position in the swim order for Saturday’s final, although their immediate attention will be devoted to flawlessly executing their Duet Technical routine in tomorrow evening’s session.

Speaking about their opening swim, Shortman expressed sheer joy in representing Team GB and being the first athletes to compete at the Games.

Thorpe echoed her partner’s sentiments, highlighting their extensive training and enthusiasm for the new elements they have incorporated into their routine.

In canoe sprint, Deborah Kerr, Emily Lewis, Emma Russell, and Rebii Simon faced the challenge of finishing within the top three in the K4 500m heats to secure a direct path to tomorrow’s final without the need for additional races in the semis.

The determined quartet delivered a powerful performance, maintaining their form throughout and securing a commendable third-place finish in a time of 1.35.578.

Kerr praised the steadiness of the boat, attributing it to their confidence in pushing forward. As the team now enjoys a well-deserved rest afternoon, Simon expressed their satisfaction in executing their race strategy flawlessly, particularly nailing their quick start and maintaining their momentum until the finish line.

As the sun sets on the first day of competition, Team GB’s rugby sevens co-captain Abbie Brown and Olympic canoe slalom champion Joe Clarke will lead their fellow athletes into the much-anticipated Opening Ceremony as confirmed flagbearers.

The excitement continues tomorrow as Team GB athletes gear up for competitions across nine Olympic disciplines, including archery, artistic swimming, boxing, canoe sprint, diving, shooting, sport climbing, table tennis, and taekwondo.