FINA Communication Department

24 duets from Russia, Australia, France, Greece, Colombia, Canada, Japan, Egypt, Czech Republic, Austria, Great Britain, Belarus, Israel, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Italy, USA, Switzerland, Spain, China and Slovakia (in this order) took part today in the second preliminary round of the synchronised swimming duet event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Russian pair, composed of the very experienced Natalia Ishchenko and and Svetlana Romashina, dominated the competition so far by accumulating 194.5244 points (98.0667 + 96.4577) over the first two days of competition, performing “Mermaids” today to a song written by Michael Erimpan.

With a total of 19 World Championship medals, Ischchenko won three golds from two Olympic Games in the past- the team event at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 – as well as the duet event in the last Olympics in date.

Romashina also counts three gold medals from two previous editions of the Games – Beijing 2028, as part of the Russian synchronised swimming team and London 2012, where she took gold in the team and the duet events.

Huang Xuechen and Sun Wenyan of China, the penultimate duet to perform today, jumped in front of almost everyone to the second place of the provisional ranking with 191.4355 points, confirming their sturdy drive for an Olympic medal. The Chinese duet presented a routine called the “Chinese Opera, Mystery in the Rain”.

HUANG Xuechen SUN Wenyan(CHN) ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia

Huang Xuechen claimed silver in the Solo Free last summer in Kazan, while the same pair took silver in the Duet Technical in Russia.

Over the soundtrack from the film “Romeo and Juliet”, new comers since the 2015 World Championship from Ukraine (Lolita Ananasova/Anna Voloshyna) impressed everyone today by scoring an excellent 93.1358 points, making them third (186.6691), just behind the Chinese.

After a great start, Japan, with Risako Mitsui, 22, and Yukiko Inui, 25, were fourth today with an accumulated 187.5214 points. Both athletes have never collected an Olympic medal so far. However both were in the

Japanese team that took silver in the Duet Technical at 2015 FINA World Championships last summer, as well as the Team Technical.

Host nation’s favourites Brazil ranked 13th (167.3341 / 83.3008 + 84.0333) in front of a very supporting and loud cheering crowd, just missing a spot for the final.

The 12* best duet’s performances of today qualified for the final round which resumes tomorrow August 16 at 2pm (Rio local time) for the Final. The Team event starts on Thursday August 18.

*Duets qualified for the final:
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 detailed results here