PHOENIX, Arizona, July 24. DAY five of the world championships only featured one set of medals being awarded in Barcelona, and that came in the women's solo free routine in synchronized swimming. Svetlana Romashina was clearly the star of the competition, winning gold by almost two points over China's Huang Xuechen. This was the second straight world championship title in this event for Romashina and continues to cement her dominance in synchronized swimming.
Diving featured preliminaries and semifinals of the women's individual platform event, and qualifying first China's Chen Ruolin, who will be going for her fourth-straight medal in this event and second gold in a row. Australia's Brittany Broben, the Olympic silver medalist from last year, did not qualify for the final, but bronze medalist Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia is in the final. Also making the final in her world championship debut is American Tori Lamp, who qualified ninth of 12. American Amy Cozad finished in 14th place, just six points out of a spot in finals.
The fourth day of competition in the men's water polo preliminaries featured a rout by the Americans over South Africa, 16-3. Italy, the defending champions, beat Germany 10-8 and Olympic champions Croatia beat Canada 13-8. Elimination rounds start Saturday, and the teams with the better performances in the preliminary rounds get the better placings in the elimination rounds.
Open water swimming resumes in the morning with the special team 5k pursuit. Teams pick at least one male and one female to be part of the three-person team, and each team starts one minute apart, similar to the team pursuit in cycling. The gold medal goes to the squad that gets all three swimmers to the finish gate in the shortest amount of time, not necessarily to the team that gets to the finish first. The Americans won the first running of this event in 2011 with Andrew Gemmell, Sean Ryan and Ashley Twichell. Gemmell and Ryan will defend their title with Haley Anderson, the gold medalist from Saturday's 5K.