World Championships Diary, Gwangju, July 18, 2019: US Women’s Water Polo Win 50th Straight

December 16, 2017; Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Santa Margarita, California, USA; Waterpolo: USA Water Polo Exhibition Series: USA vs Netherlands; USA Goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson with a savePhoto credit: Catharyn Hayne- KLC fotos
Ashleigh Johnson helped lead the USA women's water polo team to a historic victory. Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne

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The the 2019 World Championships in Aquatics is underway in Gwangju, Korea. Each day through the event, Swimming World will bring you a round-up of news items in brief beyond our main coverage in our World Championships Diary.

  • Check out more of our complete World Championship coverage here.

Water Polo

USA women win 50th straight match

The USA Women’s National Team earned the Group A title and a bye into the quarterfinals of the FINA World Championship following a 26-1 victory over South Africa. The victory marked their 50th straight win dating back to April of 2018. Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/UCLA/CdM Aquatics) scored five goals to lead a variety of scorers with Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC) and Amanda Longan (Moorpark, CA/USC/Santa Barbara 805) combining for seven saves in net. Team USA will return to play on July 22 against an opponent to be determined. Game time is currently set for 4pm local time/3am et/12am pt. The match will air live on Olympic Channel and can be streamed by clicking here (cable authentication required).

Team USA stormed out of the gates in the first with a seven goal outburst including two scores from Musselman and two from Stephania Haralabidis (Athens, Greece/USC/NYAC). South Africa got on the board in the second quarter but the United States answered with eight more goals of their own to go in front 15-1. Kiley Neushul (Isla Vista, CA/Stanford/NYAC), Paige Hauschild (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara 805) and Aria Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) all scored twice in the quarter.

The third was more of the same as the United States added six unanswered goals including two from Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC). Team USA put the match to bed in the fourth with five more goals as Musselman connected on two more opportunities to close out the match. The United States went 5/8 on power plays and 3/3 on penalties while South Africa was 0/1 on power plays with no penalties attempted.

Artistic swimming

Romashina, Kolesnichenko win gold

Russia, China, Ukraine and Japan were the favorites for the medals in the Free Duet event this evening at the 18th FINA Artistic Swimming World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.

Russia, the reigning World Champion, has won this event every World Championships since the 2007 Melbourne World Championships when the separation of the Duet event into two separate events was first introduced.

For the past four Championships, starting in 2011 in Shanghai, China has finished on the second step of the podium. In Barcelona at the 2013 World Championships, it was the first, and only, time that the Russian pair, Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina, swam together as a Duet, when they won the gold. Similarly, the Chinese pair, Huang and Sun, only swam together as a pair once, at the 2015 Kazan World Championships, where they won a silver medal. Today it was the first time that the two duets would compete against each other.

Kolesnichenko and Romashina, winners of the Technical Duet in Gwangju, swam a duet called “Spiders”. The title may have been too simple for the level of difficulty displayed in the routine. The pair moved through the water, with leg sequences and arm movements that resembled spiders, who are known to have a seemingly impossible range of mobility.

Wearing shimmery gold bathing suits decorated with a black spider, their flexibility, strength and execution of the routine was impressive.

The score received, 97.5000, which would prove difficult to beat, and Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina earned another gold medal, the sixth one for Russia in Gwangju.


Boudia, Hixson reflect on performance

David Boudia (West Lafayette, Ind.) and Michael Hixon (Amherst, Mass.) finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the men’s 3-meter final Thursday at the FINA World Championships. China’s Xie Siyi took gold with 545.45 points. Boudia finished with 458.10 points, while Hixon scored 449.95 points.

Boudia was ninth after round one and climbed in the standings throughout the competition with a steady performance. Four of his dives scored 76.50 points or higher, including 84 on his final dive – a reverse 1 ½ with 3 ½ twists that moved him up to fifth.

“My expectations have been exceeded. I was very far from the medals but with extremely low degree of difficulty compared to the rest of the field, I’m pleased with where I’m at,” said Boudia, who was competing in his first World Championships on 3-meter after winning five World Championships medals in platform events.  “This offseason I’ve got a lot of work to do, and I was glad I was able to get top eight so I can be competitive at World Series events next year.”

Hixon was in 10th place after four rounds but closed out his night with 85 points on an inward 3 ½ tuck and 85.50 points on a front 4 ½ tuck to jump to seventh, his highest finish in three World Championships appearances on 3-meter. “It was pretty consistent diving. The last two rounds were pretty big for me. Before that I was pretty OK, pretty average, so I was happy to come through in the end and get top eight and a World Series spot,” Hixon said.