Ishchenko completes hat-trick

Chinese Olympic pair wins springboard gold

IN COMPLETE SYNC: Russians Natalia Ishchenko (left) and Svetlana Romashina celebrate their free duet gold on Friday. AFP

The pair wowed judges with a superbly executed routine to earn a score of 98.833, giving Ishchenko her third title this week after winning the free and technical routine solo events.

Spanish duo Gemma Mengual and Andrea Fuentes came just half a point behind to take second, thanks to a fine flamenco-inspired number, while Chinese twins Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen claimed the bronze medal.

Russia have dominated the synchronised swimming here, winning five of the six competitions so far. Spaniards have been the runners-up every time, except in the free combination event, which they won and Russia did not have a team in.

It was the second gold here for Romashina, who like Ishchenko was part of the Russian team who triumphed at the Beijing Olympics, after she won the technical duet with Anastasia Davydova.

Guo-Wu retain title
China's Olympic champions Guo Jinjing and Wu Minxia led from start to finish to retain their women's synchronised three-metre springboard title. Guo and Wu produced a polished performance to pile up 348.00 points from their five dives.

Italy's Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape delighted the home crowd by taking a surprise silver medal with a score of 329.70. The Russian pair of Julia Pakhalina, who won the one-metre springboard gold on Sunday, and Anastasia Pozdniakova recovered from a botched fourth dive to claim bronze.

Guo had already secured her fifth successive individual 3M springboard world title after victory on Tuesday.

Go back to textiles
Swimsuits will almost certainly have to be made from textiles from January and men are poised to return to trunks, swimming's governing body FINA said on Friday. Controversy over performance-enhancing bodysuits made from non-textiles has overshadowed the swimming world championships, which start on Sunday.

"The material is to be textile," FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu told a news conference after a congress meeting. "In general it is going to be short trunks. But let us finish the rules."

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