For some years now, the team event in synchronised swimming has been a restricted "club" for selected teams - Russia, Japan, USA and Canada. In Sydney at the 2000 Olympic Games and the 2001 FINA World Championships, the order Russia-Japan-Canada was preserved, but in the 2002 FINA World Cup the US team interrupted this series and conquered the bronze medal.
At the occasion of the team final of the current World Championships, the fight remained between these four countries. Displaying a "luxury" team composed by names such as Olga Brusnikina, Maria Kisseleva, Anastasia Ermakova and Anastasia Davydova, Russia once more proved its supremacy in this event. In fact, since 1997 they have won all the world level competitions - one Olympic and three world titles, plus three gold medals at the FINA World Cups. An impressive domination by a country that knew how to renew its team by mixing the new generation with more experienced swimmers.
The of the current team demonstrates this reality. Brusnikina and Kisseleva (the two oldest of the group) have behind them an impressive career and were part of the mentioned successes of the last years. Davydova and Ermakova, the young talented swimmers of Russia, appeared at their best level in 2001 and from then they are showing a supremacy that for now seems impossible to surpass. The only "detail" missing is the new synchro event, the Free Routine Combination, in which Russia opted, for now, not to participate.
The Russian final programme was again near perfection, as attested by the judges' marks. Four "10's" in the artistic impression were the summit of a presentation that maybe was not so spectacular (or original) but was unique in terms of synchronisation and precision. The next goal is now the Olympic Games in 2004. "In Athens, everyone will want to win, but with our experience and career I believe we come in a favourite position," stated Anastasia Ermakova, who left from Barcelona with three medals in the pocket (two gold and one silver).
Passing to the "rest of the world", the Japanese team led by Miya Tachibana (also two medals in Barcelona) presented a programme which made the spectators cheer the swimmers. This joyful atmosphere was also rewarded by the judges. Marks between 9.8 and 9.9 attested the consistency of the exhibition and allowed the Japanese to secure the silver medal.
After the first two places of the podium, there was a group of three countries with possibilities of getting the bronze - USA, Canada and Spain. Within this trio, the American swimmers did not risk too much and the final result reflected the correctness of their routine. More original were Canadians and Spanish, but in association with more creativity came the inevitable mistakes of too many risks. For Canada, we must remember the "canoe figure" and for Spain the opening routine (in which one swimmer is projected in the air and is held by another one also above the pool).