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LONDON, England, August 5. WITH the likes of Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin now done with the London Aquatics Center, the world-class talent of the synchronized swimmers have now taken over at the pool. Russia's duo of synchro queen Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina led the way in the duet technical routine on Sunday.
Ishchenko and Romashina opened their routine with 25 seconds speedy legwork on the rhythm of Michael Jackson's “They don't care about us'. Each of their eight technical elements were executed with precision, control and perfect synchronization. It was, however, the speed and energy of their routine that sent the crowd roaring and positioned them in first place on 98.200.
The Chinese duet of Huang Xuechen and Liu Ou finished in second on 96.100. Their powerful legwork is enhanced by their outstanding technical skills. China performed to a Kongfu song and theme.
Spain's Andrea Fuentes Fache and Ona Carbonell Ballestero placed third in 96.000 with the catchy rhythm of a flamenco-themed routine. They executed all technical elements smoothly up until the last thrust and 360 spin, which was slightly out of sync. The pair is looking to improve their score with the free routine, where their distinctive creativity is not limited by the compulsory elements.
The Canadian pair of Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon and Elise Marcotte swam a routine based on a cheerful 'Din Daa Daa' music that sent the audience clapping and won them 94.500, despite a few synchronization mistakes in their leg work. Japan's Yukiko Inui and Chisa Kobayashi swam to a medley of 'Aria Queen of the Night' and 'Victory Drive' by Yucca. The pair finished fifth with 93.200.
Ukraine's Daria Iushko and Kseniya Sydorenko surprised with their clean and fast routine and finished seventh with 92.200, their best result yet in Olympic Games, putting them in front of the Italian favorites Giulia Lapi and Mariangela Perrupato (90.700).
Great Britain's Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici improved their international standing, finishing ninth for the first time in an Olympic competition with 88.100. The ovation of the crowd supported them through their routine despite some mistakes in the execution of their twists and twirls, which were out of alignment and synchronization.
Korean sisters Hyunha Park and Hyunsun Park finished 13th with 86.700 points, which might cost them a place in the final if they do not manage to recover with the free routine score. Team USA's Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva finished 10th with 87.900 points.
The scores awarded in the technical will be added to the free routine scores on Monday to identify the 12 best duets to progress to the finals.
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