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Spain wins synchronized swimming duet routine at Olympic qualifications
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10:03, April 19, 2008

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World championship medalists Spanish duo won the gold of the duet competition with a combined score of 97.667 points at an Olympic qualifications tournament here on Friday.

The duo of Gemma Mengual and Andrea Fuentes outscored all swimmers in the pool with a fast-paced and lively performance to the music of " Flamma, Flamma".

The pair, who were the eighth to swim in the duet final, were already in the first spot with a strong technical routine on Wednesday which scored 48.667 points.

"We are very happy today, but the training has made me really tired," said 31-year-old Mengual, the world silver medalist in Duet free and technical routines.

"We started out a little nervous, because it was a difficult and demanding routine," she said.

The duet free routine was the same with what the duo performed in the European Championship this March, in which Mengual took four golds in solo, duet, team and free combination.

China's twins Jiang Wenwen and Jiang Tingting won the silver with 96.083 points, more than 1.5 points behind the reigning Spainpair.

"We are glad that our training has paid off," said Jiang Wenwen.

China's head coach Masayo Imura said the Chinese squad are aiming at a medal at the Beijing Olympics, but also added that they need more work to make the goal possible.

China placed fourth in duet at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne, and the Jiang's twins also managed to beat Japanese rivals at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.

Japan's duet Saho Harada and Emiko Suzuki took the duet's bronze with 96.001 points.

"We are good at leg movements, but there is still room for improvement," said Harada.

"China is a strong team. We need to train hard to compete with them," Suzuki said.

The top three teams for the tournament, along with other Olympic qualifiers like the United States, will be strong medal contenders at the Beijing Olympics and have chances to challenge the multiple world and Olympic champion Russia.

Source: Xinhua

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