Olga Kamardina, FINA Correspondent in Russia

With a strong programme called “Shaherezada” to the music of Rimsky Korsakov, Varvara Subbotina won the 29-participant solo free routine today, on July 10, at the FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships in Kazan. Swimming at the Aquatics Palace of Kazan, host of the 2015 FINA World Championships and 2013 World Summer Universiade, the Russian scored 90.6000,  1.9000 points ahead of the second place, that was attributed to Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Yakhno, who performed “Triste Vals” to the music of Yaval Levy.

“We are pleased with the way Varvara performed today and with the scores received – 27.0000 in the execution, 36.4000 on the artistic impression and 27.2000 on the difficulty, - said Russian coach Tatiana Danchenko. – Her debut turned to be successful, and we will keep our fingers crossed, that she should make it even better to the final”.

Sakiko Akutsu of Japan came third performing to Stravinsky Medley, which earned her a total of 87.4667 points.

Spain's Irene Toledano and Canadian Halle Pratt shared the 4th place. Their programmes “El Resplandor” and “Fortress of seduction” collected the same total of 86.0000 points.

“This is my personal best, - confessed Halle Pratt just after the performance was over. – I am incredibly happy and pleased, and very grateful to the spectators for their support. The atmosphere of the Aquatic Palace is awesome. I really love this programme in the mood to act like a Greek Goddess”.

Enrica Piccoli of Italy got 85.0000 points to land on the 6th position, followed by Greek Athanasia Tsola with 83.6333points and Inesse Guermoud of France with 82.8333 points.

Nicole Dzurko of the USA ended up the first day of her solo competitions on the 9th spot with 82.6333 points.

“I enjoyed swimming at the Aquatics Palace as well presenting my “Firebird” program by Stravinsky , - said Nicole. - I feel very proud to represent my nation for the first time ever at such a large tournament, boasting a good competition of strong synchro swimmers. I always do my best and will be looking forward to improve on my score in the final”.

The team of Russia in action

The evening session was the floor for the Preliminary free combination.

The hosts once again finished atop, sending a strong message for the opponents and claiming for the overall title this year. They showed up speed and power by performing Ludwig Minkus “Don Quixote” programme, scored by 90.9333 points with 36.5333 on the artistic impression and 27.2000 on execution and difficulty. Chinese were just 0.6000 points behind with their “Heroine” to the music of Zhang Yong Chum. Emotionally strong and powerful programme touched everyone in the crowd and earned 90.3333 points, divided into 36.1300 on the artistic impression and 27.1000 points on execution and difficulty.

The Japanese team starting their routine

Japan presented a “Mystery story of Yourai” by Wasizu Shrou, and collected 88.3667 points to rank third, followed by Ukraine with 87.9000 points performance to the dynamic music of Johann Strauss - “Points of Operetta”.

According to Olesya Zaitseva, coach of the team Ukraine, they are pretty satisfied with the way their swimmers performed the routine. “It was a very complicated programme, which we took after the senior team, - told Olesya Zaitseva. – We neither simplified nor adapted it to the junior’s level, and this is why it is not an easy task to perform it. We have got worthy and well-trained opponents, which are very interesting to compete. The score we totalled is pretty high, but we will definitely will be striving to improve on ourselves in the final”.

“My swimmers are very hardworking, and this is we show good results, - commented on the Japanese head coach Kazumi Ishiyama. – The programme is the same as we did last year, and I believe, that we improve on every single time we show it”.

“I am very pleased with the classification and the devotion of the swimmers, though there is a lot of work left to be done. – said Nataliya Mendygalieva, senior Russian coach. – The programme is very strong and complicated, staged for the national team by the legendary Tatiaya Pokrovskaya, and we just simply do not have the right to perform it badly”.

Competition results - Day 2

Solo Preliminary – Free Routine
1.Russia/Varvara Subbotina – 90.6000 points 

2. Ukraine/Yelyzaveta Yakhno – 88.7000 points

3. Japan/Sakiko Akutsu – 87.4667

4. Spain/Irene Toledano – 86.0000 points 4. Canada/Halle Pratt – 86.0000 points

6. Italy/Enrica Piccoli – 85.0000 points

7. Greece/Athanasia Tsola – 83.6333 points

8. France/Inesse Guermoud – 82.8333 points

9. USA/Nicole Dzurko – 82.6333 points

10. Belarus/Vasilina Khadoshka – 81.4000 points 

11. Switzerland/Vivienne Koch – 81.0667 points

12. Mexico/Pamela Toscano – 79.1000 points

13. Liechtenstein/ Lara Mechnig – 78.9333 points

14. Korea/Riyoung Lee – 76.7333 points

15. Slovakia/Diana Miskechova – 75.4333 points

16. Columbia/Juliana Jaramillo – 75.3667 points

17. Turkey/Defne Bakirci – 74.7333 points

18. Uzbekistan/Khonzodakhan Toshkhujaeva – 74.1667 points

19. Egypt/Lila Ali – 73.5000 points

20. Chile/Isidora Letelier – 73.4667 points

21. Germany/Lara Lanninger – 73.1667 points

22. Kazakhstan/Yana Degtyareva – 72.2000 points

23. Malaysia/Hua Wei Gan – 71.7000 points

24. San Marino/Jasmine Verbena – 71.6333 points

25. Israel/ Gal Litman – 71.4000 points

26. Peru/Valeria Belen Romero – 70.6000 points

27. Venezuela/Ivanna Avila – 68.5667 points

28.Macao/Cheng Han Chau – 66.9333 points

29. South Africa/ Lori Louise Niemand – 65.2667 points.

Combination – Preliminary
1. Russia - 90.9333 points

2. China - 90.3333 points

3. Japan - 88.3667 points

4. Ukraine - 87.9000 points

5. Spain - 86.2667 points

6. Italy - 84.6333 points

7. Greece - 84.2333 points

8. Mexico - 81.8333 points

9. Switzerland - 81.5667 points

10. Egypt - 74.1667 points

11. Germany - 73.9000 points

12. Uzbekistan - 72.5000 points

13. Australia - 69.4333 points

14. South Africa - 64.0000 points