Russia wins another gold in synchro at worlds

Jul 24, 2009 - 1:30 PM By PAUL NEWBERRY AP National Writer

ROME(AP) -- Russia kept up its domination in synchronized swimming as the team of Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina won gold in duet free Friday.

The duo received a total score of 98.833 - all 9.9s for technical merit, 9.8s and 9.9s for artistic impression - after performing to a composite of tunes dubbed "Secret Agents," even pointing their fingers as if holding guns at one point in the routine.

The Spanish team of Gemma Mengual and Andrea Fuentes took the silver with a 98.333, while China's Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen settled for bronze with 97.000.

"We wanted to distinguish ourselves from the other swimmers," Romashina said. "Our performance was perfect, our choreography was easy and full of details."

The Russians have won five of six events at the synchro pool - every one they've entered. They'll also be heavy favorites in the final event, team free.

"We have been training for eight months," Romashina said. "We didn't select this kind of music for a particular reason. We just wanted to add a new style to our performance."

Mengual, who complained about the scoring when she finished behind Ishchenko in solo free, thought the judges were right on the mark in duet. Spain trailed the Russians by a much larger margin during the preliminaries.

"Compared to yesterday's performance, we corrected a few things and this was appreciated," Mengual said. "I believe this time we have been evaluated correctly and the final score reflects the level of our performance."

The bronze medalists are twins, which sure helps in synchronized swimming.

"There are figures that only we, as twins, are able to perform," Wenwen said. "This is because our legs are equally long."

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