Spain’s synchronized swimming team added a third medal to the nation’s haul in the pool late Monday to take its total tally to three. Clara Basiana, Alba Cabello, Ona Carbonell, Margalida Crespí, Thais Henríquez, Paula Klamburg, Meritxell Mas and Cristina Salvador combined to win silver in the team technical event, a rare achievement in a discipline traditionally dominated by Russia and China.
But for reasons unknown China did not enter the team events in Barcelona, and Spain could well be in line for more medals in the team free routine and combination finals. “Only they know the reasons why they didn’t come,” said Spain coach Esther Jaumá. Russia, despite having incorporated five new swimmers, remains favorite to sweep the board in the team events.
Spain’s silver added to the two bronzes achieved in the solo technical routine, by Carbonell, and the duet, where the soloist was partnered by Crespí.
Also on Monday, the men’s waterpolo team debuted in the tournament with a crushing 18-3 win over New Zealand as it attempts to add to its 1998 and 2001 World Championship titles. In the other game in Group A, Greece narrowly beat Montenegro 6-4 to go joint top with Spain, with the two due to meet in the final group game on Friday. The host plays Montenegro on Wednesday.
China may not have entered the team synchro events but it has certainly made its mark in the diving at the municipal pool at Montjuïc. He Zi extended her dominance Tuesday, beating Italy’s Tania Cagnotto to gold in the 1m springboard, with Spain’s Jenifer Benítez 39th.
Cagnotto and her partner Francesca Dallapé also had to settle for silver in the synchronized 3m springboard as Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao took gold to add to the 10m platform victory of Liu Huixia and Chen Ruolin.
Brazil has so far dominated the open water swimming events, adding a gold and silver in the women’s 10-kilometer race on Tuesday. Poliana Okimoto and Ana Marcela Cunha took the top two spots respectively, with Germany’s Angela Maurer third. Spain’s Yurema Requena and Érika Villaécija — the latter a genuine medal contender who finished eighth at the London Olympics — were 16th and 17th respectively.
Okimoto also won silver in the five-kilometer event, which was won by the Olympic silver medal holder Haley Anderson of the USA with Cunha taking bronze. Requena finished 13th and Margarita Domínguez was 16th.