Synchronized swimmers happy to play bridesmaid in London
Andrea Fuentes and Ona Carbonell continue Spain’s silver tradition
Ona Carbonell and Andrea Fuentes successfully emerged from the considerable shadow of Gemma Mengual to assure Spain's continued presence on the Olympic podium in synchronized swimming on Tuesday. Spain has a proud legacy in a sport that has for a decade provided a steady stream of medals at World, European and Olympic level. However, predictions that the retirement earlier this year of Gemma Mengual, who had amassed dozens of medals during a glittering career would merely strengthen Russia without necessarily weakening Spain proved accurate.
On Tuesday in London, the Russian pair of Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina again asserted their country's dominance over a competition it has won in both duet and team events every Games from Sydney 2000 onward. The Russians finished with an unassailable mark of 98.900 but the Spanish pair's dazzling final display allowed it to sneak into second ahead of Huang Xuechen and Liu Ou, who missed out on silver by a margin of three-tenths on 96.600.
In Beijing in 2008, Mengual and Fuentes combined to take silver behind Russia in the duet and the team event also provided a second-placed finish for Spain, which was once again bettered only by the undisputed world heavyweight in the sport.
Spain takes to the pool again at the Aquatics Centre in the English capital on Thursday for the Team Technical Routine, with the Free Routine Final to follow on Friday