MELBOURNE, Australia, March 18. RUSSIA claimed the first gold medal of synchronized swimming competition at the FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia. The Russians wound up dominating the free routine team finale, while Japan and the United States took silver and bronze, respectively.
Meanwhile, the solo free routine preliminary competition took place.
Team Free Routine Final
Russia's contingent of Anastasia Davydova, Anastasia Ermakova, Maria Gromova, Natalia Ischenko, Elvira Khasyanova, Olga Kuzhela, Anna Nasekina, Elena Ovtchinnikova, Svetlana Romashina and Anna Shorina cruised to victory with a top-tally of 99.000 points. The Russians totaled 49.500 in both artistic impression and technical merit.
Japan's team of Ai Aoki, Saho Harada, Naoko Kawashima, Hiromi Kobayashi, Erika Komura, Takako Konishi, Ayako Matsumura, Emiko Suzuki, Erina Suzuki and Masako Tachibana took silver with 97.833 points (49.000 technical merit and 48.833 artistic impression).
In a bit of an upset, the United States grabbed bronze over Spain. The American team of Brooke Abel, Janet Culp, Katherine Hooven, Christina Jones, Rebekah Kim, Meghan Kinney, Andrea Nott, Annabelle Orme, Jillian Penner and Kimberly Probst took third with 96.500 points (48.000 technical merit and 48.500 artistic impression).
Solo Free Routine Prelims
France's Virginie Dedieu tallied the top total with 99.000 points (49.333 technical merit and 49.667 artistic impression), while Russia's Natalia Ischenko (98.500) and Spain's Gemma Mengual Civil (97.667) took second and third, respectively.