FINA Communication Department

Twelve duets, who reached the final of the Duet Free event following two preliminary rounds on Sunday August 14 and Monday August 15, presented their final Olympic routines in Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre today. 

As highly anticipated, the hungry-for-gold Russian duet Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina did not disappoint with an almost perfect routine performed to Michael Erimpan’s song. Judges gave the unbeatable duet a strong 98.5333 points (194.9910 in total).

Ishchenko and Romashina both add one gold medal to their impressive Olympic tally. Ishchenko, 30, has now four golds (1x Beijing, 2x London, 1x Rio). The same applies to Romashina, 26 (1x Beijing, 2x London, 1x Rio).

China's Huang Xuechen (third in 2012) and Sun Wenyan (first Olympic medal) jumped the queue to the second place with an accumulated 192.3688 points.

Japan's Yukiko Inui and Risako Mitsui pocketed the bronze with 188.0547, also a first for the 25 and 22 year-old athletes.

The podium of this event in Rio 2016 was a perfect replica of the top-3 ranking of the duet technical final in Kazan 2015, where the same athletes from the same countries earned the medals in this same order.

Lolita Ananasova and Anna Voloshyna of Ukraine (third in the 2015 world championship duet free final) narrowly missed the podium despite a good score of 187.1358, remaining at the same rank than yesterday’s preliminary round. 


The Austrian, the last team to make it to the final at yesterday’s second round, offered a very eye-pleasing routine over the classic Swan Lake, accumulating 170.5970 points. They remain last of the ranking today.

The Spanish duet (Gemma Mengual/Ona Carbonell), one of the favourites too in Rio, performed to the same theme as the Austrians but ended fifth of the ranking. The Iberians had been on the podium of this event in the last two editions of the Games, with Mengual pairing for silver with Andrea Fuentes in Beijing 2008 and Carbonell also competing with Fuentes for the runner-up position in London 2012.

The final result of each pair today was the combined points of the Duet Technical routine (August 15) and the Free routine final of today.

The final ranking of the Duet Free is as follow:

1. Russia
2. China
3. Japan
4. Ukraine
5. Spain
6. Italy
7. Canada
8. France
9. USA
10. Greece
11. Mexico
12. Austria

See all detailed results HERE 


Russia, gold: 

Ishchenko “Before thinking about our plans for after the Games, we have to stay focused for the rest of the competition and maybe we can take a little break and rest after.”

“To be honest we haven’t thought about who the best flag bearer should be for the closing ceremony. I think that anyone from the Russian delegation would be a good option. It could be anybody from the team, really.”

“Not much goes through our head during the routine apart from counting to be synchronised with the music.”

“Gymnastic and synchronised swimming are both very popular in Russia because we have the best coaches. From a very young age, girls start the sport with the best coaches out there.”

Romashina: “The gold medal means that we are the strongest nation in the sport. We dedicate our medal to all our colleagues who haven’t been able to come here to Rio.”

“We tried very hard to find out about our competitors' programme / routine for the Games but it was impossible. Our main kind of approach is that everyone should respect their competitors. We know that the Chinese spent a lot of time training their routine and put a lot of efforts towards it. We really respect them.”

“My ear infection is solved now. My ear is fine and I feel well. This was solved before we came here and I look forward to the rest of the competiton.”

China, silver

Sun: “First of all, I would like to say a big thank you to my former coach who accompanied us in London 2012. She helped us tremendously. Now after four years of hard work with our new coach, we have progressed a lot and we are one step closer to the gold medal.”

“We have always been very close to the Russian pair but they have more than one advantage on us, in terms of technical skills for example we have a lot to learn from them.

“With our routine we wanted to impact on the audience with Chinese culture and heritage.”

Japan, bronze

“Because we were not able to win a medal in London the frustration stayed with us and we were very motivated to win this one in Rio. This frustration allowed us to achieve this objective. We are very happy for this medal.”