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Russia remains peerless in artistic swimming

July 22,2019
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The United States is a powerhouse in swimming and China dominates diving. But when it comes to artistic swimming, Russia holds a beyond impressive record.

At this year’s World Championships, Russia once again proved their power. In a total of 10 medal events, Russia took home nine gold medals. The only gold Russia did not win was in an event the country did not compete in, team highlight. Ukraine finished second on the medal table in artistic swimming with one gold and five bronze, while China finished third with five silver medals.

With nine gold medals, Russia extended their all-time medal record to 60 gold and six silver medals in artistic swimming. The United States, who is second on the all-time medal list, has only won 14 gold medals at the world championships.

Along with Russia’s gold medals, the achievements of individual swimmers also stood out this year.

Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina each won three gold in Gwangju this year. In solo events, Kolesnichenko won the solo technical, while Romashina won solo free. Performing together as a duet, the duo managed to win the duet free and technical events.

With three more gold medals, Kolesnichenko won her 16th gold medal while Romashina won her 21st gold medal at the world championships. Romashina now holds the record for the most gold medals won at the world championships. Her achievement is even more impressive considering that she recently returned to the sport after going on maternity leave.

In mixed duet, Aleksandr Maltsev also continued his success. Performing with Mayya Gubanberdieva, Maltsev successfully defended Russia’s title in mixed duet free routine for the third straight time. But in mixed duet technical routine, the duo won Russia’s first gold.

By winning gold in both events, Maltsev became the first male artistic swimmer to win two gold medals at a single World Championships.

In the team event, Russia continued their unbeaten streak in both free and technical competitions. They’ve also managed to regain their title in team free combination. In 2017, China won gold and Russia did not compete in the event.

BY KANG YOO-RIM [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]