Sarah Chiarello, FINA Communications Department

Using a heavy metal piece by Metallica, defending champion Svetlana Romashina and new partner Svetlana Kolesnichenko from Russia went off the beaten track, delivered a very original programme and finished strongly in the duet free, scoring 97.680. China’s Jiang sisters waved farewell with a second silver-medal winning performance in Barcelona and a total 95.350 points, closely followed by local hopes Ona Carbonell and Margalida Crespi, who secured the bronze with an overall 94.990.With this win, Romashina pocketed her third straight title in the event (which she won with Natalia Ishchenko in Rome and Shanghai) and fourth title in Barcelona (after winning the solo events and duet technical), lifting Russia’s duet gold total to 11.

Capturing her 15th gold medal (12 of them at Worlds and three at Olympics), Romashina is the third most “golden” synchro swimmer in history behind former teammates Ishchenko (19 gold) and Anastasia Davydova (18 gold). Her incredible roll of honour includes nothing but gold.

Two-time Olympic medallists Tingting and Wenwen Jiang dazzled the judges and audience alike with their swan-themed routine, intertwining their legs to near-perfection and mirroring each of their acrobatic movements.

This marked the fourth world duet medal for the Chinese twins, who were bronze medallists in the duet (technical and free) in 2009 and made their silver-medal debut in 2011 on home soil in Shanghai. Tonight was their last world podium appearance since the 27-year-olds are set to take a break after the Chinese National Games taking place later this year.

Spain’s passionate performance to “El tango de la cumparsita”, featuring new duet partners Ona Carbonell and Margalida Crespi, proved magnificent with their black and red-sequined swimsuits and headpieces perfectly suiting the choreography and their movements being so close to music.

Carbonell, who took home her first world medal in duet (a bronze) with Andrea Fuentes in 2011, proceeded to win silver a year later at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. With this medal, Spain collected their tenth award in the duet at World Championships (5 silver and 5 bronze) since their first success 10 years ago in this very place. 

Ukraine produced again a fine performance tonight and continued strengthening their influence on the international synchro scene with Lolita Ananasova and Anna Voloshyna taking fourth.

Japan’s experienced swimmers Yumi Adachi and Yukiko Inui managed to remain in the top-5, as in Shanghai two years ago. The last time Japan appeared on the podium in the duet at Worlds was in 2007 in Melbourne for the bronze.

Linda Cerutti and Costanza Ferro from Italy moved up to sixth, after a seven-place finish in Shanghai while Greek Evangelia Platanioti and Despoina Solomou leapfrogged Canadians Emilia Kopcik and Stephanie Leclair to place seventh.



Gold medal duet: Svetlana Romashina/Svetlana Kolesnichenko (RUS)

Romashina, on performance tonight: “The free programme is more difficult physically and it takes more time to train so it wasn’t easy to perform today. I’m very happy with this medal because it is my 15th gold medal [including world and Olympic medals]. I'm also very happy to perform with my duet partner [Kolesnichenko], we both did a great job.”

Romashina, on theme of the routine: “The idea came from our coach [Tatiana Dachenko]. She suggested this music, I was a little bit surprised at the beginning but when we started creating the programme, I felt it was interesting and very quickly we realised that this programme was going to be good for us, it looked like us and that we were not going to change it.”

Silver medal duet: Tingting Jiang/Wenwen Jiang (CHN)

On last appearance at a World Championship: “We enjoyed performing in this competition, we'll miss this stage. If our physical condition allows it, we hope to come back in the sport, maybe in a few months or years, so hopefully this is not the end of our career.”

Bronze medal duet: Ona Carbonell/Margalida Crespi (ESP)

Carbonell, on bronze: “We are very happy with our performance. Andrea [Fuentes] and Ana [former coach Tarres] created this routine which allowed us to win silver at the London Olympics so I think this tango has a lot of strength. Several times it has been said that it is one of the world's best synchro performances. We are still young so we hope to have a bright future ahead.”

Crespi: “We have to be proud of this score and be so close from the Chinese because we trained this routine only for six months.”