Anna Kozina, FINA Media Committee Member (RUS)

Free combination

In team Russia absence in the start lists of the Free Combination event team China largely dominated the field. They grabbed their first gold medal of the World championships in Budapest after having two silver in team routines.

The Chinese squad executed a spectacular and powerful performance, improving their preliminary result (95,5333) and winning their combi routine with 96,1000 points, well ahead of Ukraine and Japan.

The theme of the best free combination of the event was “Master and commander”, in which the Chinese team compared competing with their rivals and fighting for the medal with struggling with the elements. At the beginning of the program we saw the violent storm with waves crashed against the rock, at the end – a calm sea, the symbol of peace and harmony after the completed mission.

Free Combinaison Final podium

Ukrainian synchronised swimmers placed second (94,0000). According to the expert opinion, they increased the level of the technique and execution in the new Olympic cycle. Team Japan took the bronze (93,2000).


Team China, gold

“We are really happy to win this gold. Everyone has a dream. Our dream was to top the podium. We are grateful to our teammates, coaches and staff. This is our team success.”

Team Ukraine, silver

“We created a new free combi programme specifically for the World Championships in Budapest – The beauty and the beast. We absolutely love it. The previous one was light and romantic. This piece has more character and is emotional. We worked hard to execute it in a very best way. We are gald that all the efforts ended with a silver medal.”

Team Japan, bronze

“We are excited to be among the medallists. During this competition we had both sad and happy moments. We did our best in every performance. But still there is much to be improved.”

Mixed duet tech

Aleksandr Maltsev and Mikhaela Kalancha (RUS), not satisfied with their silver medal in technical mixed duet final, didn’t allow the judges to doubt their supremacy in the free program.

Looking back, the Italian duet Giorgio Minisini and Manila Flamini had a close win over the Russians (90,2979 and 90,2639 respectively), who were not secure leaders of the ranking after the preliminaries. This time Maltsev and Kalancha got a comfortable advantage with an excellent performance under Louis Prima “Sing, sing, sing” (Benny Goodman orchestration) - first in the prelims (92,0000 against 90,8333 points to Italy) and then in the final, earning 92,6000 points against 91,1000 result of their closest rivals.

Photo credit: deepbluemedia

As for the Italian free mixed duet, now formed of Minisini and Mariangela Perrupato, they showed to the public the “Lost Paradise”. The interpretation of the Adam and Eva story was produced by Anastasia Ermakova, a former Russian sybchro swimmer, five-time Olympic champion, who now works with team Italy.

Male synchro swimming pioneer and first ever world champion of the mixed duet event in Kazan-2015 Bill May and his new partner Kanako Spendlove (USA) scored 88,7667 today and gained the bronze medal.

A total of 11 countries took part in the free mixed duets event. The ranking of the final is as follows: 1.RUS, 2. ITA, 3. USA, 4. JPN, 5. ESP, 6. CAN, 7. BRA, 8. CHN 9. GER 10. GRE, 11. PAN

Overall, Russian synchro swimmers made a striking finish, winning seven out of nine gold medals in synchro events at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.