Chinese synchronized swimmers win gold at FINA championships
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The Chinese team won its firstever gold medal in synchronized swimming at the FINA World Championships, taking the title in the team free combination here on Saturday.
Synchronized swimming powerhouse Russia was absent from the matchup in the Hungarian capital. Under the theme of master and commander as a manifestation for bravery against challenges, the Chinese team earned 96.1000 points.
Ukraine ranked second, with 94.0000 points. The bronze medal went to Japan, with 93.2000 points.
After the National Games in May, the athletes from seven provinces and municipalities were recruited into the national team and trained for two months.
“I’m quite happy about the gold medal because it was not easy for us to do it,” Tang Mengni said.
“The time for our preparation is a little short after the National Games,” she added.
Finishing atop the ranking in the preliminary, the Chinese team just kept cool minds before the final en route to their memorable achievement.
“We slept quite well before the final. We set our own goals, but we didn’t want to give ourselves too much pressure to realize our goals. We just wanted to do our best,” said Tang.
“They finished the whole program very well, and I’m satisfied with what they did today,” China coach Wang Jie said.
Wang said that the team analyzed problems through video after the top finish in the preliminary round.
“Our athletes’ morale was pretty high this time, and they showed their best in the tournament,” she said.
The Russian team, currently experiencing a transitional period with only two veterans on the team, decided to quit the event in Budapest.
However, Chinese athletes and coaches would rather focus on their own improvements.
“The Russian team is not here today, so that’s a bit of luck for us, but the title comes from our overall strength as a team,” Tang said.
“In recent years, the Chinese synchronized swimming team has been among the world’s top.
“We feel that we lag behind Russia from the ranking at the worlds this time, and they still have much competitiveness,” she said. “As for other opponents, they also have their own cutting edge. We often learn from each other in synchronized swimming.”
China has won five synchronized swimming medals so far in Budapest, three in team events and two in duet events.
The final event of synchronized swimming, Mixed Duet Free final, was held on Saturday evening, with the Russian team prevailing. The first-ever Chinese duo in the mixed event at the World Championships, Sheng Shuwen and Shi Haoyu, finished eighth.
Our athletes’ morale was pretty high this time, and they showed their best in the tournament.” Wang Jie, Chinese synchronized swimming coach
Team China celebrates during the medal ceremony for the team free combination synchronized swimming final at the 17th FINA World Championships 2017 in Budapest, Hungary, on Saturday.