Ukrainians are among the top podium pretenders to shine at the 17th FINA World Championships. Their biggest rival is Russia, it is an eternal, exciting battle of the discipline’s greatest. Just how will this beautiful battle unfold at the City Park this July in Budapest?
At the European Championships in 2016, just a few months before to the Rio Olympic Games, Ukrainian Anna Volosina won the silver medal in the solo free and solo technical events, and together with Lolita Ananasova finished on the second place in both the duet free and duet technical events. Ukraine also came in second in both of the team event. It is not a mere generalization, they actually are the second best in Europe behind the unbeatable Russians.
At the last FINA World Championships in Kazan, the Ukrainian team finished on the fourth place, they were pushed down from the podium by the Japanese and Chinese. They did not return home empty-handed though, Anna Volosina and Lolita Ananasova won the bronze medal in the duet free event.
Following the silvery European Championships in London, 2016’s greatest success for Ukrainian synchronised swimming came at the Rio Olympics. In synchronised swimming earning an Olympic berth as a European team in itself is an outstanding achievement due to the strict qualification system. At the end of the Rio Games, Ukraine finished on the fourth place in both the duet and team events. Their Spanish coach, Ana Tarrés, lead them to through the Games, while the Spanish team itself missed the Olympics for the first time in years.
The other key of the Ukrainian lies in the inspiration from the traditions of the Russian ballet as well as the strict selection system. The athletes’ physical characteristics are really similar to the Russians’ - this a guarantee for flexibility and high level performance.
The top synchronised swimmers of Ukraine train with an outstanding amount of humbleness, with a blind trust in their coach and work, driven by an incredible inner motivation. They tend to use classical music to accompany their routines, for example Tchaikovsky returns from time to time to their performances. Ukrainians are not afraid to make use of the highly dominant, expertly executed elements of ballet, dances and choreographies – this also determines their training system. Their routine contains very detailed increases and complex formations. The athletes use every opportunity and idea to tell the story and message of the music and specific performance to the audience and the judges. The Blue Danube by Johan Strauss is a really good example of a grand Ukrainian show:
The suits are never subdued, but always vibrant and bright colours and decoration, bows, pearls dominate the Ukrainian outfits, as well as coloured make-up.