European Championships: Martina Fiedina Leads Ukraine to Artistic Team Trophy; British Divers Soar
In the closing event in artistic swimming at the European Championships, Ukraine came closer to Russia in the gold medal race (6-4) as they won the Highlights Routine.
Belarus finished second and host Hungary claimed its first-ever medal in artistic swimming, a bronze.
With eight podium finishes in as many starts, Ukraine claimed the Team Trophy (they did not enter in mixed duet) – Martina Fiedina was part of each so she is the most decorated swimmer of the championships so far with four gold and four silver medals.
“I am so happy. This program feels like a party to us,” Fiedina said. “You know, Ukraine always has great acrobatics. I love this routine, all of us do and we really enjoyed performing it. This Championships for us is steppingstone on our way to Tokyo. We were good. It showed us the things we need to work on. Personally I am happy, eight medals in eight performances. My goal is always to give my best for my country and my team and make artistic swimming more popular in Ukraine because at the moment it’s not that popular you know.”
In diving at the European Championships, British divers Tom Daley and Matthew Lee finished on top in a duel against Russia’s Victor Minibaev and Aleksandar Bondar in the 10-meter synchro with 477.57 points.
“I am delighted. This is my first ever synchro gold medal. Plus I surpassed my personal best by 5 points. The last dive was not the best one but we have time and room for improvement before Tokyo. Last year was different. I used the time to work on myself in a different way,” Daley said. “I did a lot of stretching, pilates, did mobility exercises and generally took time to recuperate and shift perspective. In times like these, you shift perspective and you realise what truly matters like friends, family and health. I am just lucky to be here. Previously I used to torture myself before the Olympics, I put too much pressure on myself. Now, I am just like, why torture yourself about something that you have been dreaming of. Just enjoy it and the time you have while doing so.”
The two duos left the rest of the field behind once the degrees of difficulty jumped to the heights of 3.2-3.6s. Indeed all four divers were tremendous during the entire competition – out of the 54 marks Daley and Lee received in the afternoon, 43 were 9.0 or 9.5. The Russians got less 9.0 and 9.5s (25) but their program was slightly stronger in DDs, so at the end only 5.61 points separated them. The last three dives were all 92+ pointers for both, the difference came in the third round when, due to a minor mistake, Bondar and Minibaev received a 79, while the Brits earned an 86.
Patrick Hausding was back to the podium in the 3-meter final at the European Championships as he claimed his fourth medal here, a second bronze (also has two golds). Diving with Timo Barthel, the Germans finished third.
Germany’s Tina Punzel claimed gold after a highly exciting final in the women’s 3-meter.
The first two rounds saw solid dives from the favorites, then in the third Punzel and Italy’s Chiara Pellacani both had an erroneous attempt while Russia’s Vitalia Koroleva came up with the best effort of the session with 75 points, which rocketed her to the first place. But her next one was off the mark and Emma Gullstrand passed her as she was balanced enough to catch the bronze, the first medal for Sweden at the European Championships.