Eleven soloists, from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria (3), Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, Poland, Portugal and Spain took part in this morning’s first event, the solo technical in which the athletes had to execute FINA imposed technical elements in order to be eligible for the ranking.
Swietlana Szczepanska, 19, was the first to jump in the water this morning and secured the 8th position, accumulating 71.0615 points for her elegant routine.
Meet’s favourite and the talented Ona Carbonell of Spain, a multiple World and Olympic medallist, impressed everyone and took the fifth departure this morning. She first secured the first place with 90.4893 but moved to the second position after other strong medal contender Japan’s Yukiko Inui, took the lead with her 90.5294 points.
The Japanese icon, representing a beautiful star fighting to survive in the universe in her routine, grabbed the gold medal on offer.
Vasalina Khandoshka (BLR), 19, completed the podium for this first event of the Paris World Series. She performed her routine under a French song from Mireille Mathieu.
The second event of the day was highlighted by the participation of many talented duets, 19 in total.
Japan, Ukraine and France were amongst the favourites this afternoon and did not disappoint with a first place for Ukraine, a second place for Japan and a bronze medal for France.
France (duet A) kept the lead in the pool throughout the first quarter of the event before the Ukrainian girls, Anastasiya Avchuk and Marta Fiedina, took over and collected 90.7207 points and the Japanese pair, composed of Yakiko Inui and Megumu Yoshida, performed an excellent routine for 90.6474 points.
France’s duet A, represented by the twin sisters Charlotte et Laura Tremble, ended up ranking third with an excellent 84.6237 points, while the second French duet (B), Ambre Esnault and Mayssa Guermoud, both 16, 6th at the Junior World Championships 2018, earned 77.9667 points and an 11th place.
In an interview with the French Swimming Federation, the Tremble sisters said they were pretty satisfied with their third place.
“We have performed the same choreography than last year but we tweaked a few things. We have the feeling that we did well today.”
“We felt more in place technically because we particularly focused on this. It is still pretty fragile and there is a lot we can improve but it is all positive for what is coming next.”, said Charlotte.
With a year and a half to go to the Olympics in Tokyo (JPN), the sisters are looking at positioning themselves against their opponents.
“It is important we position ourselves in the discipline. We have to show the judges our progress and mark the spirts now.”, said Laura.
Switzerland also presented two duets. They finished 8th (81.1780) and 9th (81.0928) respectively.
TECHNICAL MIXED DUET
Five mixed pairs presented their routine in this first competition day: France, Brazil, Spain, Kazakhstan and Japan (in this order).
Spain’s Pau Ribes, one of the pioneers in mixed artistic swimming and a bronze European medallist was one of the biggest hopes today. With Gemma Mengual, he placed fifth in the mixed duet free in Kazan 2015 and again he secured the fifth position in Budapest 2017 with Berta Ferreras, the reserve swimmer in Paris. The Spanish couple with Emma Garcia, 20 and 24, swimming under “Feeling Good”from Muse managed to secure the silver medal with 82.4202 points.
Atsushi Abe of Japan, also a pioneer in the discipline as he took part in the first ever edition of the mixed duet in Kazan, Russia, four years ago, was present in Paris too. Together with partner Yumi Adachi they presented a dance representing the Greek mythology and they pocketed the gold medal, accumulating 85.8529 points.
Brazil’s Giovana Stephan and Renan Souza were the last duet to step on the podium today with 76.8835 points. The pair ranked 7th at the latest FINA World Championships in 2017.
National young talents Madeline Philippe and Quentin Rakotomalala (FRA, both 15) were swimming together for the first time today. They got a total score of 71.8434 (4th place).
Right until the end of the event, the French girls were leading with 84.7119 point for their Aretha Franklin routine.
However last year’s overall Series winner Ukraine performed last tonight and jumped to the top of the ranking. The Ukrainians collected 90.7889 points and stole the gold medal.
The French claimed a well-deserved silver medal and the Israeli team, coached by the famous Ana Tarres of Spain, closed the podium with 81.2155 points.
There were was six entries in this event and each routine lasted for 2.5 minutes.
Action in the future Olympic Games host city resumes tomorrow with the free solo at 10am, the mixed duet free at 4:30pm and the highlight at 5:10pm.
The results of DAY 1 are provided by FINA partner Microplus and are available here