A total of 10 teams and 22 duets will be aiming to gain
qualification for next year’s Olympic Games at three events during the next 12
months. One team place and two duet spots will be up for grabs at the LEN Cup,
taking place in St Petersburg, Russia.
Duet of Great Britain’s Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe will be a command to seal an Olympic sport at the first available opportunity – although the standard of the competition is likely to be ‘exceptionally high.
The team that wins the LEN Cup, and therefore books their
place at the Olympics, will also have their duet automatically entered.
One further duet place can be secured by the winning pair or the next best-ranked duo at the LEN Cup if the gold medallist’s country had also won the team event.
Should Great Britain’s team or duet not qualify in the first instance, five more team spaces will be available at the FINA World Championships in Korea, in August, and the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, in Tokyo, next April. Seven duet spots can also be worn at the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament.
Shortman and Thorpe will be competing in Tokyo between 27-29
April in the fourth leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series.
The duet impressed during the first leg of the competition in Paris when they set a new personal best score for their karate-themed routine.
They will then team up with Victoria Usher, Daniella Lloyd,
Millicent Costello, Greta Hampson, Ilaria Brandimarte, Cerys Larsen, Cerys
Hughes, Laura Turnerville and Isobel Blinkhorn for the LEN Cup.
The team’s confidence will be boosted by the silver
medal they won at the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series in Paris in the
free combination final.
Russia will be the first time this season that the Great
Britain squad will compete in the technical, free and combo team events.
Karen Thorpe, Swim England Artistic manager, said: “We are
expecting the standard in Russia to be exceptionally high as we’re a year out
from the Olympic Games.
“The duet hopes to place and score well as a stepping stone towards the World Championships in July and we are hoping to be as close to 80 points in all the team events.
“It’s going to be a busy few weeks but all the athletes have been working hard on a camp in Bristol and are relishing the opportunity to perform on these big stages.”
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The top two countries not already qualified, China and Ukraine, punched their ticket to Tokyo, using combined scores from technical and free events. Moreover, the Oceania continental spot went to Australia, while Egypt qualified for Africa’s quota. The duos also get an automatic quota as a result.
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China and Ukraine are indeed the next two major nations to join the Olympic field alongside Russia and Japan in the team events.
The Chinese scored 96.0333 in the free team final with their
“Ode to the Heroines”, for a combined score of 191.1876 that earned them a spot
to Tokyo. They have been working on this routine for a while now and wanted to
highlight the Chinese culture throughout. Guo Li admitted the hardest part for
them is at the very beginning of the routine where they perform three acrobatic
movements in a row.
The Chinese have also been working with Anna Tarrès for the
last month in an effort to improve their artistic side. Tarrès, former coach of
the Spanish national team for nearly 20 years, has collaborated with Ukraine
and Israel in the last few years as well.
“I am just making some revisions,” Tarrès said. “I gave them some ideas to try to develop new movements, try to clean up what they were doing before, and try to make the routine more organic so that it could flow a little more. Mainly, it has been more to give them tools to develop the theme and to develop their own potential. The goal was trying to make them realize that they could go one step forward, and to look for new movement and for a new way of swimming.”
By defending their bronze medal from 2017 and once again placing third with a score of 94.3667, leading to a combined score of 187.8181, the Ukrainians qualified a team to the Olympics for the second time in the country’s history.
Russia was, of course, the heavy favorite coming into this event, and won the gold medal with a score of 98.0000. The Russians performed their ‘Shamans’ routine for the last time as it was already the third season with this program, and we can be certain head coach Tatyana Pokrovskaya will create something new for the Olympics.
These world championships also marked the return of Alla Shishkina, a two-time Olympic champion, to the Russian team after a break of two years following the 2016 Olympic Games.
“When I stand on the podium in Rio, I think about my comeback,” Shishkina said. “At that moment, I think that I would rest for only one year. But after one year, I think more. I said to Tatiana Pokvroskaya, ‘Can I rest one more year, and these two years is my only rest?’ After these two years, I understand that I love synchronized swimming very much, with all my heart. My comeback is for the love of this sport.”
It will be extremely interesting to see how Pokrovksaya
figures out who her top eight swimmers will be for Tokyo as both Svetlana
Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina will have to be included in the team once
Varvara Subbotina, the youngest of the Russian team at 18
years old and competing at her first senior world championships, explained how
intense the internal competition is within the team.
“There are many girls in the reserve,” Subbotina said. “Six or seven girls stayed behind in Moscow. Everyone tries to show their best, to prove the coaches that they have this right to be in the team. Some come to the gym earlier than anyone else, some work harder on some elements in the water or in the gym. This is a normal process; we are used to it. The rivalry in the team is very high, so we know we have to work hard to be on the team.”
Unfortunately, Japan fell short of a team medal
once again by scoring 93.3667 for fourth place. The Japanese had changed free
team choreographies from last season, and have performed their new “Japanese
Festival” routine at a few world series competitions this year. It will be
interesting to see how Japan and Ukraine fare against one another at the
Olympics next year, especially with them being on home turf for the Japanese
team, but with a dominant Ukrainian team that cannot be denied.
Spain had finally managed to move ahead
of Italy during the preliminaries, as the latter had been ahead since
the 2016 European Championships in all major international competitions.
However, the Italians managed to take the lead again in the final with their
new routine “War of Two Worlds” despite falling on a lift, with a 91.6000 to
This Spanish team, led by Mayuko Fujiki for the last two
years, is still quite young but has shown tremendous improvement since her
arrival. Last season, Fujiki’s team had finished only 0.1333 points behind
Italy in the free event at the European Championships, and she continued
pushing them this season by creating a brand new routine for them in this
event, and moving away from the ‘Life in a Factory’ routine to work on this
‘Discovery of an Island’ theme.
“For me, the routine was for them to be able to learn how to swim sharp and strong,” Fujiki said. “It wasn’t really the best artistic side that I could give them. But because this is a young team, they learned something last year swimming the other routine. Now I really wanted to do something else, imagining that they were swimming qualifications in Tokyo, that the people in Tokyo would relate to and enjoy. But at the same time, I wanted something similar to Japan and Spain, and I was thinking, thinking, thinking, and then, ‘Ah! Islands!’ We are both countries with the ocean, we both have a lot of islands, with different cultures, and that gave me a little story to start with.”
Fujiki has also included Ona Carbonell in the free team routine again and brought in 17-year-old, up-and-coming swimmer Iris Tio from the junior ranks to build the best possible team heading into the Olympic year. She has indeed played around with her roster throughout the six competitions her team was at this year, but she has clearly found something that works. If they continue on this path, the Spanish team is certainly in great shape to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
Canada finished in sixth place with a score of 90.1000, its highest of the year with its new routine to the ‘Spectrum of Time,’ which was choreographed by Anastasia Ermakova just like its technical routine. Greece obtained 88.3333 for its ‘Africa’ routine, the same as last year, and for an eighth-place finish. France placed ninth with a score of 87.4667 for its ‘Emotions’ routine that we had seen in the last few seasons. The French faced some difficulties at these championships as Laura Augé had to be replaced in both technical and free team events at the last-minute as she suffered a back injury during training.
The Mexican team wasn’t far behind with a score of
87.0333 for its ‘Space Discovery’ routine. The routine features a strong
opening sequence that will probably give you goosebumps, and all in all
showcases a fantastic first lap with a unique throw where Jessica Sobrino, the
flier of the team, jumps straight above the base in a straddle split and
quickly moves into a horizontal position only to be caught directly by the base
The Mexicans had a complicated season, and were originally
supposed to compete in a lot more world series meets, including the Hellas
Beetles Cup and the Japan Open, but ended up withdrawing from those at the last
“It was a very tough season,” Regina Alferez said. “It wasn’t that we were just not competing for the program, but we got sick a lot in the season so it was very hard to train and to get to this point of the year. We never felt like this before. In the past years, we were competing, at not just competitions but also exhibitions. It was a very tough year.”
The U.S. finished 11th with a score of 84.4000 but received a one-point penalty because the walk on deck was too long by 0.04 seconds. The Robot-themed routine was popular with the crowd, and the choreography itself truly is a gem in terms of artistic impression, musicality, and attention to detail.
The U.S athletes have been excited about this routine right from the start and were thrilled to finally swim it on the world stage. They have welcomed with open arms the many changes their new coaching staff of Andrea Fuentes and Reem Abdalazem has brought on.
“I think they are the best thing that could have ever happened to us as a team,” Nicole Goot said. “We have grown individually and together so much, it’s incomparable to year’s prior. Our attitude towards everything changed. They brought a new perspective on how we train, how we compete, and our mindsets. We are a lot hungrier, more motivated, more innovative, thinking outside the box a lot more, and really supportive of each other a lot more.”
Australia and Egypt also earned their spots
to the 2020 Olympics. The Egyptians finished 17th with a free score of 77.8333
and a combined score of 153.6684 to fill in the African continent quota. The
Australians placed 22nd and scored 74.5333 in free, resulting in a combined
score of 147.9783 to become the team for the Oceania quota, with a free routine
choreographed by Giovanna Burlando, former synchronized swimmer and current
technical director for Italy.
“We are really happy with how it went today,” Emily Rogers from Australia said. “We had a lot of pressure, so we are excited. We wanted our best swim. We wanted our score to beat New Zealand because then we would get our spot to represent Oceania in the Olympics.”
Notable, Brazil received a two points penalty in the prelims because it had too many acrobatics movements in its routine. Once again, it has been a difficult championship for the Brazilians as they had to scratch their duo from the competition and to replace Maria Clara Lobo Coutinho in all the team routines.
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US Young Girls, ambitious, and eager to show the world at the Pan American Games 2019 in Lima that they have what it takes to make it to Tokyo 2020 after a 12-year-absence from the Games. Olympic Artistic Swimming fans from all over the world can book summer Olympic Artistic Swimming Tickets online from one of the most trusted online ticketing market platforms.
Their brave and brand-new robot routine has been getting a lot of attention in recent months, and the Olympic Channel has gone behind the scenes to document their progress.
Can this group of young hopefuls, their star choreographer
and four-time Olympic medal-winning coach Andrea Fuentes reach Tokyo 2020?
Only the winner of the women’s team event at the Pan
American Games 2019 will gain an automatic Olympic qualifying spot.
They have been trying to complete the near-impossible. In just five months. The Olympic Channel has followed their inspiring journey. Working hard with “Mr. Robot” Chadd Smith to their working out the campus in Las Vegas.
We were in Barcelona where the USA artistic swimming team showcased their revolutionary routine for the first time outside of the US, and we witnessed their performance at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.
Eleven girls’ aims to jump in competition
Before, The USA artistic swimming team was not qualified since the Olympics since 2008. These 11 determined girls are aiming to change that.
The U.S. Federation enlisted the help of famous robot dancer Chadd Smith (aka Madd Chadd) with the aim of developing a competitive artistic routine in time for the world championships and Lima 2019.
“We wanted to create a routine where people question the reality of what they are seeing,” explains Smith. And of course, to impress the judges.
From Korea to Peru
After presenting the unique robot routine at the
FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju, Korea for the first time in a major
competition word spread very quickly that these women were attempting something
totally new for the sport.
While team entrances to the pool are traditionally silky
smooth, the United States’ jittering, mechanical approach – designed
to imitate a robot walking – is unique and attention-grabbing.
The team displayed some well-executed lifts and jumps that
drew plenty of ‘oos’ and ‘ahhs’ from the bleachers.
Their final score was 84.40 points which were commendable
but only good enough for an 11th place finish in the final.
“We are much happy, but the coach always wants to do a little bit better. It was team-best performance ever,” coach Fuentes told Olympic Channel immediately after their FINA World Championships 2019 final.
Great competition in Lima
Fuentes told us that she intends to make some changes for
their upcoming Pan American Games routine.
“We know it is going to be difficult as we just came
from the world championships. This is just one week after. The body is super
tired, and now the mind has to be strong. This is what I ask of the team as
they seem super tired,” she said to Olympic Channel.
“I told them you must try and fight. You have to finish with pride. For most of them, it is the first time at Pan American Games so this will be a big injection of motivation. “
It will take an amazing performance to finish top in Lima
and outclass the favorites Canada and Mexico.
“I am super excited to get another opportunity. We just got back from Korea, and we still need to improve a lot of things,” said Team USA’s Hannah Heffernan. “We definitely need a miracle but we are doing everything we can.”
Should they not win in Lima there is still another chance to
make their Olympic dream come true.
The last 3 qualifying spots for the Olympic Games 2020 will
be awarded at the final Olympic Qualification competition in April in Tokyo.
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A proposed name change from Synchronized to “artistic swimming” has been passed here during the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Congress despite opposition from the head coach of the world’s leading nation. Olympic Artistic Fans from all over the world can book summer Olympic Artistic Swiming tickets online from our trusted online ticketing market platform.
The idea of changing the name is part of a rebranding exercise designed to boost the popularity of the discipline and bring it into line with similar events in other sports, such as gymnastics.
inside the games has been told that it was proposed following a request from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Each and every reference to “synchronized” in the
FINA structure has been switched for “artistic”.
This begins with clause 3.1, which now reads: “Aquatics – means swimming, open water swimming, diving, high diving, water polo, artistic swimming, and master’s program activity”.
Questions were raised during the Assembly over how the
change would be implemented before it passed a vote with near-unanimous
The new name is now expected to be used at all events,
including the Olympic Games.
“While diving events are synchronized, we felt that
artistic is a more appropriate name for this event,” FINA vice-president
Sam Ramsamy told inside the games subsequently,
“It brings it into line with artistic gymnastics and
will be better understood by the public and the media.
“This should help us in rebranding and enhancing its
popularity all over.”
There is some opposition among athletes and coaches.
This includes Russia, which has claimed six out of the eight gold medals won so far at the FINA World Championships.
“We are negative about the decision,” Russian head
coach Tatyana Pokrovskaya told Russia’s official news
agency TASS following the vote.
“We were quite satisfied with the former name because it is primarily synchronized swimming.
“I do not know what kind of whim it is, to whom and
what the former name was, but it does not change the essence of our
Synchronized swimming has featured on the Olympic program
since Los Angeles 1984.
Only women’s duet and team events currently take place, although
FINA did unsuccessfully propose a mixed duet competition for inclusion at Tokyo
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At the turn
of the twentieth century, synchronized swimming was known as aquatic ballet.
The first recorded contest took place in 1891 in Berlin, Germany. Many swimming
clubs were formed at that time and the sport developed simultaneously in
In addition to being a sport, it has often been a popular addition to Music Hall nights and in theaters of larger varieties in London or Glasgow. That’s equipped with water tanks on stage for this purpose. Sports enthusiasts from around the world can purchase Olympic Artistic Swimming Tickets online to enjoy its stunning performances.
Olympic event was held at the 1952 Olympic Games, where Helsinki officials
welcomed Kay Curtis and lit a torch in his honor. Curtis died in 1980 but
synchronized swimming did not become an official Olympic sport until the 1984
It was not
until 1968 that FINA officially recognized synchronized swimming as the fourth
most water sports, next to swimming, diving on platform and water polo.
From 1984 to
1992, the Summer Olympics included solo and duet competitions, but both were
abandoned in 1996 for the team competition. However, at the 2000 Olympics, the
duo competition was reinstated and now appears alongside the team competition.
Artistic swimming has been part of the Aquatic World Championships since the beginning. From 1973 to 2001, the world swimming championships were held in solo, duet and team. In 2003, a combination of free routine, including solo, duet, and team elements, was added. In 2005, it was renamed free combination.
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For the team
competitions, the highest ranking NOC in each of the five continental
championships, with the exception of the host country, Japan, will be
qualified. The remaining NOCs will be able to qualify for the top two places at
the 2019 World Aquatic Championships and the top three places in the Olympic
For the duo,
the highest ranked NOC in each of the five continental championships without a
qualifying team will ensure a secure place. The other seven NOCs ranked first
will be selected as part of the Olympic qualifying tournament. The 10 NOCs
already qualified in the team competition will automatically qualify a duo.
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