Imagine being 15 years old and representing your country internationally, then imagine being the first male to represent Great Britain in the sport you love.

That dream is a reality for Ranjuo Tomblin, who became Team GB’s first male to compete in an international synchronised swimming event at the European Junior Championships in Malta last month.

He partnered with Rosie Rallings, 18, and placed fifth in the mixed duet technical final, even though they only had a couple of months to train together.

Despite being heavily outnumbered by females, Ranjuo, from Horsham, said he uses it as extra motivation.

The Argus:

He said: "It feels a bit different being the only boy, but I guess it gives me that extra energy to try to get better or as good as the girls.

“I do get people saying it’s a girls' sport but I don’t really get much criticism for it.

“I think once boys understand the work that's put into it, I think they would appreciate more of the sport and hopefully more would get into it."

Ranjuo said most boys think the sport is easy and he wants to prove them wrong.

The Argus: Ranjuo Tomblin was one of two boys fastracked into Swim England's national youth squad last year.

He said: "I would say it’s one of the hardest because you need all these different aspects and all these different elements in one sport where there’s cardio, strength and flexibility all in one.

“Getting to the level that I am now, where I am going to these international competitions, helps prove them wrong."

Despite Ranjuo’s achievements, he will have to wait a while before he gets the chance to compete in the Olympics.

So few males take part in the sport, which has been rebranded as artistic swimming, that mixed teams were been denied a spot at Tokyo 2020 and it will be the same in Paris 2024.

The Argus: Ranjuo Tomblin and Rosie Rallings competed in the European Junior Championships last month.

But it is hoped mixed teams will be able to compete at LA 2028 with Ranjuo, who will be 22 by then, eyeing up the gold medal.

Ranjuo, who has been swimming since he was five but only started artistic swimming in 2017, was fast-tracked into Swim England’s national youth squad last year as one of only two boys to join the programme.

He is coached by London 2012 Olympian Katie Chapman and would train for nine hours a day on camp days, including a few weekend sessions.

Ranjuo used to specialise in the 50m butterfly and only tried synchronised swimming when a coach invited him to join.

His father Charles, 72, said: “A coach was teaching synchronised swimming at the other end of the pool and said ‘do you fancy having a try in synchronised swimming?’.

“He looked and watched them for a minute or two and said ‘yeah, I’ll have a go and that’s where it started really'."

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