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Russia synchronized swimmers lead team technical routine, aim at double gold
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17:44, August 22, 2008

Russian synchronized swimmers continued their dominance in the sport in Beijing on Friday, emerging as the leaders in the first part of the team competitions.

The Russian eight-member team, led by duet gold medalists Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova, again demonstrated their prowess at dancing in the water to a dynamic Spanish music piece.

The swimmers scored ten 9.9 points from the judges to total 49.500 points. Spanish swimmers, renowned for their creative choreography, finished second with 48.917 points, while China finished third with 48.584 points.

The technical routine, judged on a 100-point scale on execution and overall impression, is the first part of the team competitions. Half of the scores will be added to the free routine, scheduled on Saturday, to decide the final rankings.

The gold medal of the team competition is not likely to fall into other hands than the Russians, who have dominated the team event throughout the last decade. They have won golds at the past two Olympic Games and the past five world championships.

"We perform from their hearts. No matter what we do, we do it heart and soul," said Davydova when asked about their invincibility in the sport.

The seven other teams also sought to impress and entertain the audience with original choreography, fast speed and synchronization.

Spanish swimmers dove in the water wearing cartoon-imaged costumes. The Chinese swimmers, with twins Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen on board, donned in costumes printed with the character "China" and a bright-colored peony. They opened their technical program with martial arts moves, and simulated the swords movement with their long thin legs.

"We chose Sword as our theme, because Wushu is a character of China, and it's pretty cool," said Chinese team's coach Masayo Imura.

"In order to prepare this programme, I watched lots of DVDs, read some books, and went to watch live performances," she added.

Canadian swimmers, clad in simple silver-colored costumes and wearing no hairpieces, presented aloofness in a performance themed a men's fashion show. The American swimmers ascended on the stage wearing a golden colored swimsuit with a red Chinese knot to connect with the audience. Both teams shared the fifth position with 47.584 points.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 46 15 22 83
2 USA 30 35 34 99
3 Great Britain 17 12 11 40
4 Russia 16 16 20 52
5 Australia 11 13 14 38
6 Germany 11 14 14 39
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