Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

The Ukrainians ruled the field on the second day of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series Super Final in Budapest as they clinched three titles in as many events they entered. Solo free, duet free, team free – all went to them, Marta Fiedina was the super hero as she was part of each golden routine. The fourth gold headed to Russia in the mixed duet free.

Two golds from Ukraine kicked off the second day in the Duna Arena – both were somewhat expected and both were delivered with safe hands (and legs) as the winning margins were above 3 points in the free routine finals in duet and in solo.

The medallists of the duet free in Budapest - Credits: Istvan Derencsenyi

Indeed Marta Fiedina managed to grab two more titles in an hour: after teaming up with Anastasiya Savchuk for the duet gold she also came first in the solo events. Ona Carbonell, he amazed many on Friday with her brand new and somewhat revolutionary technical routine, this time opted to swim only in the duet (where she got a bronze), in the solo Spain’s new hope Iris Tio (still junior) took part and finished third.

Simoneau added a silver to her bronze from yesterday

The silver went to the Italians in the duet, just like a day before, while Jacqueline Simoneau was runner-up among the soloists.

The Ukrainians were very happy with this golden sweep. “Once more it’s a record high score for us and this is the first time we could win both golds in the duet event” Anastasiya Savchuk said. “We are working hard, preparing for the World championships in Gwangju and then to the Olympic games in Tokyo. We are still very young, we have a lot of great competitions ahead.”

Fiedina also set a personal best while winning the solo free so she was obviously sitting on cloud nine after the event. “I am really happy now, it is the highest score I have ever been given in my solo career. This programme was nearly the same as yesterday, but without the compulsory elements and the music was different too. I could express myself freely, I was able to offer much more emotions. I felt I could open up and my soul was flying during the run.”

Flying souls... The medallists of the solo free, with Fiedina in the middle

The mixed duets enjoyed a great success in the evening session, highlighted by the ‘clash’ of two great rivals, Russia’s Aleksandr Maltsev with his new partner Mayya Gurbanberdieva and Italy’s Giorgio Minisini and Manila Flamini who upset Maltsev two years ago here in Budapest in the technical routine at the FINA World Championships. The Italians entered only the free here because Giorgio had to overcome an injury in the spring and they are working on a new technical routine which they still wish to polish before showing it in Gwangju. Now they had to settle for the silver medal as the Russians doubled down the titles on offer in the Super Final.

Maltsev and Gurbanberdieva: a golden farewell to the old programme

“There is no secret in it at all” Maltsev replied to a question regarding any secret behind their success. “Each time we compete, we set ourselves the goal to perform such a way as we have decided previously, as we have imagined. There are always certain ‘circumstances’: tiredness, de-concentration, unexpected things that can push our performance back. Whenever we win, we always have the idea in mind to perform our programme at the highest possible level and perfection. Since the last World Championships I have changed my partner and this was our 8th performance with Mayya. This is the tenth and last time I have performed this programme. For the World Championships we have created a totally new one. That’s why it was important to do this programme as close to perfection as possible. To our greatest pleasure, this was the highest score we have ever got for this routine and I am really proud of it. I hope our next programme will be even better and of higher level.”

Minisini and Flamini were on fire, as always

The bronze went to the Japanese pair, though the tango-based new routine of the Spanish duet was also wildly applauded by the spectators.

The team event closed the evening session and the Ukrainians were just again at their best, with the top score of the two days (above 94 points) they made their golden treble in the three free routines staged on Satuday. Maria Fiedina claimed her third gold of the day as she also swam in this final.

The Ukrainians got the highest marks of the entire meet so far

“These points were the highest we received so far for this new long programme” the winners said. “We felt perfect in the water, we were able to give our best performance, this led to these great marks. When we jumped into water, we did not know the result of the Spanish team, as we were right after them and we were preparing for our performance. But we are extremely happy to win this title. Although we are really satisfied with this result, our goal is to be even  better, correct our tiny mistakes in order to be properly prepared for the World Championships. We wish to give our most ideal performance there.”

The Spanish were also electrifying

The day was crowned with a special performance of the Hungarian synchro age-groupers as a hundred girls (!!!) performed a special choreography in the pool much to the delight of the crowd.

Medallists, Day 2 

Duet free

1. Anastasiya Savchuk, Marta Fiedina (UKR) 93.9000

2. Linda Cerruti, Constanza Ferro (ITA) 90.8333

3. Ona Carbonell, Paula Ramirez (ESP) 90.4667

Solo free

1. Marta Fiedina (UKR) 93.4667

2. Jacqueline Simoneau (CAN) 90.2333

3. Iris Tio (ESP) 87.4667 

Mixed duet free

1. Mayya Gurbanberdieva, Aleksandr Maltsev (RUS) 93.0667

2. Manila Flamini, Giorgio Minisini (ITA) 90.8000

3. Atsushi Abe, Yumi Adachi (JPN) 88.9667

Team free

1. Ukraine 94.2667

2. Spain 92.0667

3. Canada 89.4000