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LONDON, England, August 9. RUSSIA led the way in the team technical routine rounds of synchronized swimming at the 2012 London Olympics.
Russia will lead all teams into the free routines with 98.100 points after performing a meticulously executed Russian Dance theme with long underwater legwork and solid, controlled lifts that placed them comfortably ahead of their rivals.
China, bronze medalists in Beijing 2008, finished second with 97.000. However, it will need to keep its rhythm up in the free routine in order to finish ahead of Spain, which is third with 96.200 and are traditionally stronger in freestyle routines, as demonstrated in the duet when it overtook China in the free finals.
Accompanied by the folk guitar song Tamacun by Rodrigo y Gabriela, Spain intrigued the audience with its passionate interpretation. The performance constantly switched between controlled technical elements and speedy pattern changes. The fast pace of the routine was unmatched even by Russia as well as China, although it lacked the same precision in the technical elements execution.
Canada, whose synchronettes were wearing full head decorations in the shape of a football, performed an entertaining routine that positioned them in fourth place with 94.400.
This was only the second time that hats have appeared at the London 2012 Olympic Games after the Brazilian duet wore sequined brain-shaped decorations. Hats are rarely used in synchronized swimming and have to be approved by FINA to ensure they do not break the 'no accessories' rule (SS 13.6).
Japan missed out on improving its duet achievements and finished fifth in the team technical with 93.800.
Great Britain, at its first team event in the Olympic Games, thrilled the local crowd. The squad finished seventh with 87.300, well ahead of Egypt (77.600) and Australia (77.500), which are competing at their second Games.
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