Helsinki 2014: Japanese duo close to upend top favourite Russia
Perennial favourite Russia added two more to its multitude of titles in juniors’ synchro swimming (15 to 18 years), but it won Saturday’s first event at the 14th FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships in Helsinki, Finland, the duet only with a very slight margin ahead of Japan. Two 17-year-old twins from Moscow, Anastasia and Daria Bayandina edged out Japan’s duo of Kano Omata and Asuka Tasaki by a hair’s breadth, 0.13 points.
Russia later took the team event title with the Bayandina sisters picking up a second gold medal for the day, while Omata and Tasaki added silvers of their own.
MSWC 2014: Meyer (USA) and Cunha (BRA) dominate Magog race
Alex Meyer (USA), 2010 world champion in the 25km event, won a hard-fought race in Lac Magog, Canada on August 1, the fifth stop of the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2014.
In the last meters, a strong pack of more than a dozen swimmers was heading for the finish line. 18 out of 25 swimmers touched home within the same minute. A photo finish decided the winner and it was Meyer, who edged German veteran Thomas Lurz by 27 hundredths of a second, clocking 1h55m10s63. Brazil's Allan do Carmo took third in 1h55m12s94.
Heading to Kazan: a closer look at DDs
With the development of high diving, FINA officially adopted at the beginning of 2014 the list of Degrees of Difficulty (DD) for this discipline. As in pool diving, it establishes all the possible combinations from the 27m board for men and 20m for women. To each kind of dive and position a DD is given and this coefficient will then be taken into account when calculating the scores of the divers. Going through the list, it is easy to understand the wider variety of combinations that high diving allows compared with pool diving, where a DD over 4.0 is already considered of extreme difficulty.
In high diving, things start to be complicated with a Degree of Difficulty over 6.0, with a theoretical maximum at 7.0 for a reverse 5 somersaults, piked. Taking into account that a high dive takes many months to prepare and stabilise, the strategy behind the choices of DD (as in pool diving) remains at the heart of the performance’s success.
Montreal 2014, Synchro: Olympian Paola Tirados makes joyful debut at Masters
Six years ago, she was claiming Spain's first Olympic silverware at the Beijing Games in the team event. Today, world-class synchro swimmer Paola Tirados also climbed the podium for a second-place finish in the solo at the 15th FINA World Masters Championships in Montreal, Canada, and that medal tasted no less sweeter.
The three-time Olympian from 2000, 2004 and 2008, whose remarkable tally include nine world medals (six silver and 3 bronze), retired in 2009, before the FINA World Championships in Rome, and never dipped a toe in a pool again... until three weeks ago.
Gary Hunt (GBR): The ‘wow’ man
As a starting point, he followed the customary route: a successful pool diver wanting new sensations and driven by different challenges. But then, having arrived at the peak of his talent in High Diving, he didn’t follow the group. He tends to be original, he constantly conquers new boundaries, he defies gravity with new combinations, he sets new standards. His name says it all: Hunt, Gary Hunt.
He chases perfection, he neutralises his opponents. Only one man escaped him [World champion Orlando Duque from Colombia], at the 2013 FINA World Championships, but the 30-year-old Englishman is determined to be the world number one.
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