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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Duet Synchronized Swimming Gold : Russia

Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova wave to the audience. (Photo credit: Xinhua)

Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova (RUS) lived up to their No.1 ranking, winning their third Olympic gold medal in Synchronized Swimming, at the National Aquatics Center on August 20.

The results mirrored the Melbourne 2007 World Championships with the top eight teams finishing in the same order.

Davydova and Ermakova, who won Duet and Team gold at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, were Beijing gold favorites.

The pair held a 0.416 lead over second-placed Spain in the free routine preleminilary on August 19. They produced an ambitious and beautifully executed routine in the final, earning perfect 10.0's from the five technical merit judges and three artistic impression judges. Their 49.917 gave them a combined score of 99.251.

Spanish duo Gemma Mengual and Andrea Fuentes took silver and in doing so claimed their NOC's first Olympic Synchronized Swimming medal.

Their free routine was well-constructed and executed, scoring 49.500, but their technical and free routines left them 0.917 behind Russia at 98.334.

Japan claimed bronze, continuing their record of never leaving an Olympic Games without a Synchronized Swimming medal. The Japanese duo Harada Saho and Suzuki Emiko improved on their preliminary performance to earn 48.917 in free routine for a combined 97.167.

China's twins Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen were unable to reproduce the timing of their preliminary Free Routine, and their small synchronization errors in the final were costly. A score of 48.250 for a combined 96.334 left them fourth.

Creative choreography was not enough for the fifth-place United States' Andrea Nott and Christina Jones to challenge for a medal.

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