Synchro, Day 7: Russia completes golden sweep after free combination win
In the last final on the programme, the number-1 nation in the sport delivered a flawless performance at the Palau Sant Jordi, obtaining their fourth title in the event with a total 97.060. Proving imperial in all seven routines, Russia completed their second sweep of gold in-a-row at World Championships (also pocketing the competition’s best team Trophy).
Spain, whose team took a disappointing fourth in Shanghai in 2011 behind Canada, regained second spot, 10 years after their first success in the free combination, also a silver, at the inaugural edition of the event at home. In 2005 and 2009 respectively, Spain completed a set of world medals in the event, winning bronze in Montreal and gold in Rome.
Performing on a medley of Elvis Presley, the host squad presented a superb routine, offering an astonishing array of lifts and throws, frequently punctuated by bursts of applause and wild cheering, for a total score of 94.620.
Key swimmers on the Spanish team – Basiana, Cabello, Carbonell, Crespi, Henriquez and Klamburg – were bronze medallists at the 2012 London Olympics. All except Basiana were also part of the team that won gold at the Foro Italico in 2009. For the second time, Spain bagged a medal in all synchro events at World Championships, tallying three silver and four bronze.
The Ukrainian team added a second world bronze to their resume, totalling 93.350. The young team walked us through an elegant routine inspired by the movie soundtrack “Once upon a time in Mexico”, showing strong technical skills and an impressive level of artistry.
Team Japan, the first to clinch the title in this event, settled for fourth. Canada's team, the half of which has competed at the last two World Championships, winning bronze, took fifth.
Gold medal team: Russia
Svetlana Kolesnichenko: “We did here our maximum. We repeated our result of seven golds from Shanghai 2011. We did everything that we wanted to do so it’s a big mix of emotions.”
On free combination event: “This event is a very interesting event, it is less strict than other events. You can do what you want to do, show your emotions, you’re absolutely free so it gives a lot of pleasure and for the public also.”
Mikhaela Kalancha: “This was my first senior competition so I was really nervous but I’m really happy I did my best.”
Silver medal team: Spain
Alba Cabello: “We’re very happy with the silver. We’ll continue training and the Rio Olympics is the next target for the whole team.”
On her many years within the Spanish team: “When I arrived in the team, I was the youngest. Gemma Mengual was the leader, she was an example for us, then Andrea Fuentes became the leader. Now I’m among the veterans and I try every day to help the youngest ones.”
On fierce competition: “If someone doubted that our team could win a medal in each event, they can look at the result and see that we’ve reached our target. We will continue to fight for medals.”
Bronze medal team: Ukraine
Kateryna Sadurska: “Half of our team came from the Junior World Championships. They are becoming strong and there’s a good atmosphere among us.”
Olena Grechykhina: “We are very happy with this result, the hard training paid off, I’m tired from the competition but it’s a great feeling. No matter who we must beat, we should be stronger and keep improving.”
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