For full Swimming World coverage of the entire 2011 FINA World Championships, including all videos and recaps, visit our Event Landing Page.
SHANGHAI, China, July 18. NATALIA Ishchenko nabbed her 13th world title in the sport of synchronized swimming with a triumph in the technical duet routine at the FINA World Championships held in Shanghai.
Ishchenko, along with new partner Svetlana Romashina, put up a 98.20-point tally for the world title. The win is Ishchenko's second straight in the event after teaming with Anastasia Davydova for the 2009 world title. Russia has won all three offerings of the technical duet routine, as Davydova teamed with Anastasia Ermakova for the 2007 title.
"The secret is our coach plus hard work," Ishchenko said of the victory. "I like this sport, and we will participate in the Olympic Games. We will work hard, but we can't say what the goal. I have no secret to maintain the top position. Thanks to Chinese spectators."
In sum, Ishchenko has now won 13 world titles, to go along with two silvers. Her victories have come in the technical solo routine (2007, 2009, 2011), solo free (2009), technical duet (2009, 2011), duet free (2009), team (2005), technical team (2007), free team (2007, 2009) and combination free (2005, 2007).
China's Huang Xuechen and Liu Ou took silver with 96.50 points, while Spain's Ona Carbonell and Andrea Fuentes earned bronze with 95.40 points. China swapped spots with Spain on the podium this year after Spain beat China for silver in 2009. The U.S. team of Mary Killman and Lyssa Wallace finished ninth with 88.50 points.
In preliminary competition, Russia put itself in a good position to win its third straight world title in the technical team routine. Russia tallied 97.70 points, and will be looking to defending its 2007 and 2009 title. The technical teams routine first became a competitive event at the 2007 Melbourne World Championships. China, which took bronze in 2009, is looking to improve on that finish. The host nation tallied 96.00 points in prelims, while Spain (95.70) and Canada (94.00) also look to be podium contenders.