Russia is the most successful nation in synchronised swimming at the FINA World Championships, with a total of 44 gold and 5 silver medals. Will Budapest see this unprecedented series continue, or will other nations challenge the Russian queens of water?
At the last edition of the FINA World Championships held in Kazan, the synchro swimmers of the host nation won 9 out of the 8 available gold medals (the Americans triumphed in the debuting mixed duet’s technical event). As far as the Olympic Games, the Russians have been unbeaten since 2000.
From all the great athletes of Russian synchro, Svetlana Romashina and Nalatia Ishchenko stand out. The two of them together are in possession of 10 Olympic, 37 World and 22 European champion gold medals, they are a true factor of influencing the young generations in choosing the discipline.
Julia Kiss – Masters Synchro Competition Director of the Budapest 2017 OC – and former Hungarian national team member shares her thoughts as expert of the discipline:
‘The Russians are real trend-setters, style-creators who radiate something additional. They are graceful, the athletes are the most physically flexible in the international field, they can execute well both very soft and tight movements. Keeping track of their perfect movements is simply impossible, even if you're watching them on video again and again.’
They got so much respect from all those watching during their performance that silence is usualy almost tangible. It fills the entire space, radiating internal and external energies like no other, it may seem that they represent a different dimension in their discipline.
Other nations are trying, but it is difficult to break the hegemony. The greatest chances are in the free combination event, as it is less strict, so perhaps Budapest could witness the breakthrough of China, Ukraine, or Japan for example.
The revolutionary event, the mixed duet was added to the World Championships’ competition programme two years ago, in Kazan. Russian Maltsev Alkesander and Kalanchak Michaela stood on the top of the podium, though the mixed technical duet gold went to the Americans, Bill May and Christina Jones. This spectacular event of the discipline is well anticipated in Budapest, too, whether the US or perhaps the Italians can challenge the Russians once again.
The 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest will see 9 medal events of synchronised swimming over 7 days of competition (July 14-22) at the beautiful temporary venue in the City Park (Városliget).
Tickets to the 17th FINA World Championships are available here.