Claudia Ruiz, FINA Press Correspondent in Mexico

November 29, 2013 MEXICO CITY - Tremendous creativity was on display in the Thematic duet, the first event of the 8th FINA Synchronised Swimming World Trophy, organised from November 29 to December 1, 2013 at Mexico state's Aquatic Complex "Joaquín Capilla".The ten participating countries - China, Spain , Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, USA, Italy , Egypt, Greece and host Mexico - delighted the audience with their routines reflecting their own country's culture.

Chinese stars Huang Huechen and Sun Wenyan dominated the competition, taking first in with a total 93.334 with a butterfly-themed, excellent routine. Russia was second with Anna Petrishcheva and Evgeniya Shtefan totalling 92.666 points. The fresh faces of the Russian team played two sailors, skillfully incorporating oars in their sophisticated performance.

Tying for third were Ukraine's Lolita Ananasova and Anna Voloshyna, and local hopes Nuria Diosdado and Isabel Delgado, with a score of 91.667. The experienced Ukrainian duet showed both technical and artistic talent in their speedy routine. The Mexicans performed on
a typical folk music piece called "mariachi". They used a huge hat "charro" and a giant
bass guitar in their routine, thrilling the judges and audience alike.

Just out of medal range were Spain's Ona Carbonell and Paula Klamburg, who delivered a powerful, Flamenco-inspired performance.

Spain's thematic duet - credit: Christian Palma

Evangelia Platanioti and Evangelia Koutidi's vibrant routine paid tribute to Greek mythology, earning them fifth place.

American duet Claire Barton and Sarah Rodriguez finished sixth, besting Italy's Manila Flamini and Mariangela Perrupato.

Amina Yermakhanova and Aigerim Zhexembinova from Kazakhstan placed eighth while Egypt's Aya Ibrahim and Jomana Maghrabi closed the ranking.

The duet from Kazakhstan - credit: Christian Palma

Day 1 also featured a Solo exhibition, which was not judged, with Xuechen Huang (China), Manila Flaminni (Italy ), Nuria Diosdado and Teresa Alonso (Mexico) and Evangelia Platanioti (Greece).