Tomoaki Tasaka, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

Aquatic swimmers have been faced with a fierce competition from the first day in Tokyo, Japan, in the 4th leg of FINA Artistic Swimming World Series.

Day 1 was highlighted by the technical routines of the Duet and Mixed Duet events. Those two events were then followed by the Solo Technical and the Team Technical in which the world‘s famous aquatic artists fought furiously.

Following their success last week in Kazan for the 3rd leg of the circuit, powerhouse Russia triumphed in the Duet after getting 95.7896 for the gold.

Svetlana Romashina talked about their theme:

”When I came to Tokyo before, I felt it was very beautiful, wonderful and speedy as if it was a city in the world of movies and comics. In this way, I wanted to convey Tokyo from our point of view. Not only technically, but also artistically our performance was good.”

After coming back to the water, she has appeared in every leg with hard schedules. The sensation added full of confidence:
“I am maintaining good condition now."

Kunoichi (the namefor a female ninja) was the choreography of the Japanese pair Yukiko Inui and Megumu Yoshida. The duet got 91.3775 points to secure the second position. Italian queens Linda Cerruti and Costanza Ferro were third with 89.5706 points, a higher score than last year in Tokyo.

The Mixed Duet event was conquered by Russian World Champion Aleksandr Maltsev and his partner Mayya Gurbanberdieva who started dancing with Maltsev a year ago. The Russian duo showed a high level of synchronisation in the Technical Routine and scored 90.2902 points.

“Our theme was the Argentinian tango. What we especially struggled with was to express tango in the water. In every competition we try to show not only high technics but also our artistic side to the audience. It would be important to popularise this sport. We have had good results since we paired last year,” Maltsev said.

The Japanese duet, Atsushi Abe and Yumi Adachi, who were the champions in the first and second leg of FINA ASWS 2019, secured the second place with 88.0718 as their best points so far. They introduced a new theme this year.

“It was the first time for us that we gained 9 points in the Impressions category, so I think it was the consequence as the juries gave us much evaluation. On the other hand, 8 points were lined up in Elements, so I think that is a point of improvement in our near future”, Abe said.

On the third step of the podium was Spain withEmma Garcia and Pau Ribes.

“We performed nicely along our theme and the feeling was good so we would like to win tomorrow,” Ribes said.

The first place of the Solo Technical was stolen by Olympic and World champion Svetlana Kolesnichenko with 94.0252 points.
Pocketing an even higher score than last week in Kazan, Kolesnichenko expressed her satisfaction.

“I did my better than in Kazan a week ago to make our coach happy! I think I could get more points for the Elements and Technical part.”

The second place went to Japan's Yukiko Inui with 92.0159, who has now joined the world's top soloists. The third place came to Spain's star Ona Carbonell as she scored a strong 90.5317 points.

“It was good that I was able to perform well. I made a little mistake, so next time I would like to carry my points up. I started my career because I admired medallists in the Solo. At this year's World Swimming Championships, becoming a medalist as a soloist is no longer just a dream,” Inui said.

The Team Technical was the last event of the first day.

Team Japan went onto the stage under the theme “Japan’s glorious landing on the water” which had the image of dancing on the water. Their performance seduced the audience and the jury and ended up winning the gold medal at stake with 91.3871.

However, the coach of Japan Masayo Imura wasn’t totally satisfied with this result.

"With this result, we will not be able to grab a World medal in Gwangju. I wanted them to swim more actively and vigorously. Tomorrow I would like them to perform more aggressively," Imura said.

Team Canada was second with 87.5982 and France completed the podium (85.9191).

Three events are scheduled tomorrow Sunday April 28 (Team Free, Duet Free and Mixed Duet Free).