With strong Chinese traditional culture elements, including Chinese paper-cutting, firecrackers and Peking Opera accents, China swept three titles on offer on the first day of the 11th FINA Synchronized Swimming World Trophy 2016 held in Yangzhou, China, on Saturday.

In the Highlight routine, the host team, consisting of Jiangsu provincial team, showed movement of free combination of Chinese folk art paper-cutting under the joyful atmosphere of Spring Festival and earned the top score 92.4667 points to lift the title.  

photo credit: Ji Chunpeng

"It is the second time we compete in the World Trophy as the Jiangsu provincial team. We are glad that we are more experienced in technical and art  . We hope our Chinese elements can touch the hearts of the local fans and the judges. We made some changes on our previous routines that were used for the national championships in last September. We made changes by using the tools, and dancing parts on the land," said Wang Fang, coach of Jiangsu team.     

Japan and Kazakhstan came to second and third, respectively, in 90.4000 and 86.7333.

photo credit: Ji Chunpeng

According to the competition rules, the theme of the Thematic Duet is Street Dancing. Guo Li/Liang Xingping of China collected 92.6667 to win the gold medals, edging Beatrice Callegari/Manila Flamini of Italy second in 92.6000. Ali Diana/Tabolina Anastasia of Russia took the bronze medal in 91.4000.

"Many of us are coming from the junior team of Moscow and it is our first time to compete in the World Trophy. The youngest one in our team is Titova Sofia who is 15,” Ali Diana said.

With the famous Peking Opera music items, China combined the national traditional art together with synchronized swimming in the Free Team routine, winning a total of 94.7333. Italy showed changing seasons and cycle of life in the water to capture the silver medals in 92.4000. Russia came to third in a theme of War with Dragons.

photo credit: Ji Chunpeng

"We love World Trophy much better than the other events. It is full of fun. We send our junior team to compete in the event and the youngest one is 15 years old. It is great to enjoy the synchronized swimming as a big party, with special make-cup, swim-suits, tools and dancing. It is great to attract audience and TV views to our sport," said Burlando Giovanna, coach of Italy.

About 80 synchro swimmers from 7 countries compete in the two-day World Trophy.  

photo credit: Ji Chunpeng

Mixed duet and free combination will kick off on Nov. 27 as well as solo and gala show as the performance events.