Suspense was in the air and the tension could be felt today during the Artistic Swimming Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the Piscina Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain. After a thrilling competition, a nail-biter till the very last competitor, Italy, Spain, and Greece earned their ticket to this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Team USA missed the qualification for 0.2108.
Italy, Spain and Greece will join previously qualified Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Japan, Russia and Ukraine to complete the starting lists for the Team events in Tokyo. The medallists in Barcelona also secures a spot for their duets at the Olympic Games
Full Results are available here
First to perform, the Spanish team send a clear message to the six teams that would follow. Absent from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Spain performed their Free routine themed “Darwin’s Theory of Evolution” with a determination to secure their qualification for the Tokyo Games. The fairly new choreography, performed for the first time at the 2021 European Championships where they won the silver medal, scored 92.3000 points, for a total of 182.8506 and the lead.
Greece, in third place after the Technical Team event, used their Free routine to pay homage to Greek Mythology portraying the Wings of Icarus. The music composed for their routine by Josep Jordi Grau Saula, allowed the team to tell an artistically impressive story of Icarus as he escapes from the waves using spectacular and powerful acrobatic moves. Greece received 88.6000 points for their performance and ranking second overall with 175.9990 points.
"We cannot believe it, we worked hard, all of us. We are proud, it is a dream come true. There have been many difficult moments, but it was worth it, we are so happy.""
Competing third was Italy, who was in first place after the Technical event, and needed to score at least 92.1 to solidify their return to the Olympic Games. Performing “Warriors” to “Final Fight” composed by Antongiulio Frulio, Italy optimally used their Free routine, to showcase their talents and strengths in this choreography which was loaded with Acrobatics and Hybrids. The Italians were awarded 93.2333 for their performance and the lead with 184.0249, which in the end proofed to be the highest points total for the event.
"We cannot believe the score, finally, it was very good. This is what we have been working for, for so long, and now it happened."
It was clear that France and USA, in fourth and fifth after the Technical Team event respectively, had their work cut out for them. Their performances would need to be clean, strong and spot on to make it to the Top 3 and earn the spot for the Tokyo Olympics. USA’s popular Free routine “Robots” has been “the talk of the town” for its creative and daring choreography by Head Coach Andrea Fuentes. Most noteworthy, possibly the most difficult landing in the history of the sport, a landing on the hands of the athletes, which was executed flawlessly. The performance did not disappoint and earned a well-deserved 88.9332, but with a total score of 175.7882, it was 0.2108 short of moving ahead of Greece in the ranking.
France was the final competitor, and the pressure was on. All eyes were on France, who needed to score at least 88.9498 for their “Zombies” routine to be on the starting list in Tokyo. The energy was high throughout the difficult routine, but in the end, it was not enough. With an 87.8332 score for their Free routine, France finished fifth overall with 174.8833 points.