Russia’s synchro girls completed their performance in Kazan with the gold medal in free combo

Kazan 2015 - SY

Team Russia grabbed eight out of nine gold medals in synchro events at the FINA World Championships in Kazan. Russians made a spectacular and striking finish, winning their combo routine with more than 98 points (98,300).

Even some with technical problems, the sound equipment couldn’t kill the perfect execution of a ballet theme “Don Quihote”, presented by the leaders. No, the music didn’t stop them at all like it had already happened twice: during the team routine at the Olympic Games in 2004 or in the team final at the Universiade 2013 in Kazan. There was just some noise or crack in the dynamic speakers.

Vlada Chigireva, Svetlana Kolesnichenko, Aleksandra Patskevich, Alla Shishkina, Anzhelika Timanina, Mikhaela Kalancha, Lilia Nizamova, Elena Prokofyeva, Maria Shurochkina and Gelena Topilina came out of that tense situation with honour and topped the podium.

China placed second (96,2000). That was the sixth silver medal for the team, considered the main rivals for Russian synchronized swimmers. Japan took the bronze (93,8000) – the fourth one in their medal collection from Kazan.

Team Russia - Photo credit: Pasquale Mesiano/Deepbluemedia

What more it was raining cats and dogs during the combo final but the temporary roof, constructed over the pool, performed its mission. Svetlana Kolesnichenko joked that Kazan is being sad and crying because the synchronised program has come to an end.


Gold medallist Aleksandra Patskevich (RUS): “We are very satisfied with our performance. We had 2 points advantage over team China. This programme is very temperamental and impulsive and it is new. So we can keep it for the next season. We are in shock, not because of the weather but because the underwater speakerphone broke. We could only hear some crackling and not the music. The weather did not bother us, though it was quite cold while waiting for the start. We were confused at the beginning due to the technical problems. We could not understand what had happened. But I did everything I could. I did my best. This was the last competition day for us, and we tried hard. I can't say that the combination is the easiest routine, as we have two more people in the team, and it's much harder to exercise with ten in the team."

(on winning eight medals): “As for me I think that we should take our ninth gold in technical mixed duet. But – speaking about the victory of Bill May and his partner - success is never blamed. We’ll try to become supreme champions in all disciplines at the next Championships.

Gold medalist Mikhaela Kalancha (RUS): “We are so happy that the Championship is over and we can finally celebrate our success. This tournament was so long-lasting because of the mixed duet competitions included in the schedule. We have been competing for ten days! But we have won eight out of nine gold medals.

Gold medallist Svetlana KOLESNICHENKO (RUS): "I’m so happy I’ve performed here. The day has come. We are satisfied and are going to have a much needed rest. Again we got 10 points so we are closer to the maximum result of 100 points. Now it’s vacation time. I will just lie in bed for a week, and then I will probably go abroad, or I’ll stay in Russia, I don’t know. We can eat when we are on vacations! I like to eat “Caesar” salad in every place I visit. But now I want “khinkali” (traditional Georgian type of dumplings)."

Gold medallist Maria Shurochkina (RUS): “Thank you to all of you who offered their support and our coach in particular. We really appreciated the fans cheering from the stadium, it gave us strength. It also inspires us to work with such pros. Usually, I would take a few days off to realise what happened and then go on vacation. This time I am going to the U.S., I already have my ticket!”

Gold medallist Galena Topilina (RUS): «I would like to test another sport which goes hands in hands with synchronised swimming. As it is my first time at a World Championships, I look up at the elders’ behaviour in the team and I get inspired. We have an amazing relationship all together."

Silver medallist SUN Wenyan (CHN) comments on the choice of music for the performance in the final:
"We decided to choose the music from "The Phantom of The Opera" because we love the film. While preparing the routine we watched it many times. In general, it is a very famous and popular film in China. We are satisfied with our result. This is the result of an enourmous effort.

Silver medallist LI Xiaolu (CHN): "Our training takes a lot of effort, 8-9 hours per day in the water! The Olympics is coming and we have very little time left. We elaborate our programme with the coach and we try to be creative and innovative

Bronze medallist Yukiko Inui (JPN): “We started from the bottom so we trained mentally and physically to make it to the podium.