Olga Kamardina, FINA Correspondent in Russia

The 15th FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships came to a close on Wednesday evening at the Aquatic Palace of Kazan, Russia.

In the day’s first event, the Solo, Varvara Subbotina, proved expectations of the home crowd and took gold. Performing “Shaherezada” to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, she was beyond the reach after the prelims routine, scored 90.6000, rough 2 points ahead of Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Yakhno. Then, Figures pillared her eventual lead and she sealed her win by the brilliant performance in the final. Varvara ended up with 173.9189 points overall, 4.5716 ahead of the best chaser.

“I am very much satisfied with the routine, - the Russian said afterwards. – This is my third gold as I have been competing at my first World Championships ever (corr.- Varya was a part of the team, and then of a Duet as a reserve swimmer, and later won her fourth gold in Free combination). I liked my program very much indeed. “Shaherezada” was a good choice, right up for me, it was pretty rhythmical and up tempo, but next time I am determined to choose a much slower music to have more time to breath in”.

Varvara Subbotina of Russia, world junior champion in Solo

Yelyzaveta Yakhno of Ukraine won silver, which was also her third medal in Kazan, taking silver in duet and bronze in the team routine before. In Solo, Yelyzaveta did her job exceedingly well to the music of “Triste Vals”. She had her mood high and tempo up, and totaled 169.3473 points.

“I am very proud about the medal, - the girl exclaimed. - This is my first time as I swim Solo at the FINA World Junior Championships. I liked it very much, and I shall definitely proceed in this direction. What I see now, is that I need to work even harder to improve my technical merit, and I am sure, that my coaches will help me to gain a good progress”.

The bronze was between Iberian Irene Toledano and Japan’s Sakiko Akutsu. The first night of the team’s event in Kazan showed a 1.4667 points lead of Akutsu, performing to Stravinsky Medley. Then, Toledano showed a much better technical merit in the Figure session and finished third scoring 79.5878 comparing to 77.9032 of the Japanese’s. In the final, Iberian managed to improve on her “El Resplandor”, scoring 87.6000, as Sakiko Akutsu came after totaling 166.0365 points.

 “I did not expect I would win bronze, - Irene said. I thought, that Japanese would come up to the podium the girl is very strong technically. It is the first medal for me at the Championships ever. The Russian was great. I wish I will be able to reach that level one day”.

Yelyzaveta Yakhno of Ukraine, silver medalist of the 15th FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships in Solo

Canadian Halle Pratt finished fifth performing her “Fortress of seduction” with 164.3802 points overall. Enrica Piccoli of Italy and Athanasia Tsola of Greece were a rough 3 points behind. Their duel was alive till the very end. Piccoli ranked 6th after the prelims, as Tsola outscored her opponent in the Figure session. However Piccoli Stood still, and the final chart saw 0.1369 points gap between them.

No changes appeared in the second half of the chart at all: Vasilina Khandoshka of Belarus finished on the 8th place – 161.3626, American Nicole Dzurko placed 9th – 159.9248 points, Switzerland’s Vivienne Koch ended up 10th – 158.6235 points as French Inesse Guermoud and Mexican Pamela Toscano closed down the ranking with 158.2252 and 154.8699 points respectively.

Team Russia, world junior champion in Free Combination

 

The evening session saw Russian celebrating one more title in Free combination. After the prelims the they ranked first, outplaying Chinese with their strong “Heroine” by the small margin of 0.6 points. The final routine turned the competition into a close fight, and again the tiny 0.7 points decided the matter for the hosts.

Russia earned 91.9333 points with 27.7000 on difficulty and execution, and 36.5333 on the artistic impression. Chinese got silver at 91.2333 points, which is actually a one step up comparing to the 2014 year’s edition.

“We are very happy about the 4th win to go, - confessed Polina Komar of Russia just after the Awarding Ceremony. - We did a good job, and our coaches are pleased with our performance. There is no secret for our success. We just trained hard and we will be looking forward to reach such good results in the future”.

The third place was also a tough clash between Ukraine and Japan. Performing a “Mystery story of Yourai”, defending champions were but a 0.1666 points ahead. Ukrainians were a success with their emotionally strong program “Points of Operetta” by Johan Strauss and were not that upset as they managed to show a good command of skills.

“The bronze is not bad at all for us, - said Japanese head coach Kazumi Ishiyama. - We competed against such strong nations as Russia, Ukraine and China, which was not an easy task as all they are pretty high-rated”.

Team China, silver medalist of the 15th FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships in Free Combination

 Spain finished fifth, earning 87.0000 points. Greece came after, defeating Italy by just 0.334 points, whereas Switzerland finished ahead of Mexico getting 0.0667 points more. Egypt, Germany and Uzbekistan closed down the chart with 74.4667, 74.4333 and 73.0667 points respectively.

5 competition days of the 15th FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships updated the junior’s world ranking which will be valid for the next two years. The Perennial favourite Russia added four more to its numerous titles. Ukraine collected 2 silver and 1 bronze, followed by the Japanese with 2 bronze and 1 silver, whereas China concluded the event earning 1 silver medal, and Spanish came after with one bronze.

Competition results

Solo Final/Total Result
1.Russia/Varvara Subbotina – 91.8333/173.9189 points 2. Ukraine/Yelyzaveta Yakhno – 89.8000/169.3473 points 3. Spain/Irene Toledano – 87.6000/167.1878 points 4. Japan/Sakiko Akutsu – 88.1333/166.0365 points 5. Canada/Halle Pratt – 86.8667/165.3802 points 6. Italy/Enrica Piccoli – 85.6000/161.9896 points 7. Greece/Athanasia Tsola – 84.5667/161.8527 points 8. Belarus/Vasilina Khandoshka – 82.5000/161.3626 points 9. USA/Nicole Dzurko – 82.4000/159.9248 points 10. Switzerland/Vivienne Koch – 81.3667/158.6235 points 11. France/Inesse Guermoud – 83.5000/158.2252 points 12. Mexico/Pamela Toscano – 79.9667 points/154.8699 points.

Combination Final
1.Russia – 91.9333 points 2. China – 91.2333 points 3. Japan – 89.3333 points 4.Ukraine – 89.1667 points 5.Spain – 87.0000 points 6.Greece – 85.6667 points 7.Italy – 85.3333 points 8. Switzerland – 82.3667 points 9.Mexico – 82.3000 points 10.Egypt – 74.4667 points 11.Germany – 74.4333 points 12.Uzbekistan – 73.0667 points.