FUKUOKA, Japan. July 17. AS expected, Russia took a commanding lead in the prelims of both the solo and team synchronized swimming competition at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, today.
In the solo event, Olympic champion Olga Brusnikina led France's Virginie Dedieu by more than a full point, with Japan's Miya Tachibina close behind.
The best American, Anna Kozlova, a Soviet immigrant, was in fourth place but well behind Tachibina.
Russia, the defending world and Olympic team champion, held a 0.4-point lead over Japan, with Canada almost a full point farther back. The young US team was fourth, 1.60 points behind Canada. In the world of synchro, only a colossal error by the Canadians coupled with a near-perfect US performance could lead to an American medal.
France, which was expected to be in medal contention, was mired in eighth place.
1. Olga Brusnikina (RUS) 99.174 points
2. Virginie Dedieu (FRA) 97.941
3. Miya Tachibina (JPN) 97.740
4. Anna Kozlova (USA) 96.413
5. Claire Carver-Dias (CAN) 95.226
6. Gemma Mengual (ESP) 95.098
7. Li Yuan Yuan (CHN) 93.317
8. Giada Ballan (ITA) 93.044
1. Russia 98.267
2. Japan 97.867
3. Canada 96.933
4. U.S.A. 95.333
5. Spain 94.733
6. Italy 94.400
7. China 93.533
8. France 92.667