Synchro, Day 1: Solo tech crowns new champion Romashina
Russian Svetlana Romashina won the solo technical final, the first synchronised swimming event to be contested at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi on day 1 of the 15th FINA World Championships. Except for China, the event featured new faces among the strongest nations in the sport.
Following in the footsteps of compatriot Natalia Ishchenko, the most decorated synchro swimmer in history and sole champion in this event since its entry on the programme in 2007, 24-year-old Svetlana Romashina delivered a powerful performance to pick up her first world solo gold, totalling 96.800 points.
Diving, Day 1: Wu and Shi win 3m synchro title
Olympic champion Minxia Wu won an unprecedented sixth world title when she partnered Tingmao Shi to China’s seventh successive triumph in the event at the FINA World Championships.
Wu, individual 3m springboard world champion in 2011 and Olympic champion in 2012, and reigning 1m springboard world title-holder Shi amassed 338.40 points from their five final dives to secure victory by more than 30 points ahead of newly crowned European champions Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape of Italy (307.80), with Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware of Canada coming through for bronze in the last round (292.08). Cagnotto and Dallape led narrowly after the first round but their Chinese rivals took over in the second and stretched inexorably away.
Open Water, Day 1: Olympic champion Mellouli (TUN) is the best in the 5km
The Olympic 10km champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia won his first FINA World Championship title in the 5km using his trademark "jets" to sprint to the touch-pad in the final 100 metres of the race. Mellouli unseated Thomas Lurz of Germany who has dominated the 5km event since his first title in 2005's Montreal World Championships.
Mellouli had planned to take a year off after the Olympics. "I didn't expect to win the 5km. I am really happy with the results. I did take six months off and got back into training not too long ago. To be on top of the world is quite exciting for me."
Open Water, Day 1: USA's Haley Anderson wins women's 5km
Haley Anderson of the USA won the women's 5km race outsprinting Brazilian Poliana Okimoto Cintra in the final 100 metres. Anderson timed her stroke cycle perfectly and reached for the touch-pad just ahead of the Brazilian who was leading the 42 swimmers for most of the final 1500m. The margin of victory between the swimmers was 0.2 seconds; the American finished in a time of 56.34.2.
Anderson, the silver medallist in the 10km Olympic Marathon at last year’s London Olympic Games, was the surprise leader of portions of the first lap: "I didn't realise that I was going to be in the lead but when you are the leader you are in control of everyone behind you. If I drift off course I take them with me." Okimoto led the race for most of the second lap with Anderson trailing by a full body length.
Barcelona 2013 is on!
The 15th FINA World Championships are on! After the spectacular Opening Ceremony held in Palau Sant Jordi and the port of Barcelona, the best Aquatic athletes in the five continents are ready to shine in the six disciplines on the programme: Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Synchronised Swimming, Open Water Swimming, and for the first time in the history of FINA major’s event, in High Diving.
In a ceremony displaying Barcelona’s “Dreams of Water”, acrobats, actors, synchronised swimmers, divers, and many volunteers highlighted the importance of the natural element, and provided an excellent appetizer for the two-week competition in the Catalan capital. At Palau Sant Jordi, the event was marked by the parade of the 181 flags representing the participating nations, a new record at FINA World Championships. In Port Vell, the ceremony concluded with a magnificent firework, recalling Barcelona’s vocation to host sport major events – the 10th edition of the FINA World Championships was held also in the Mediterranean city.
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