MELBOURNE, Australia – Japan’s synchronized swimming duet had to settle for a bronze medal Tuesday in the final of the technical routine at the World Swimming Championships.
Emiko Suzuki and Saho Harada went through the preliminaries in second place but some costly technical errors left the pair in third with a score of 97.167 points, trailing Russian gold medalists Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova by 1.666 and Spaniards Gemma Mengual and Paola Tirados by 0.333.
It was the second time in as many meets that Japan won a duet bronze at the worlds.
“It’s unfortunate that we dropped our ranking from the preliminaries but we gave it all the power we had,” said Suzuki.
Harada added, “I think we performed the best we could and we had a better impact in the final than the preliminaries. But we weren’t able to correct our mistakes from the preliminaries, so there is something missing.”
Chinese twins Jiang Tinting and Jiang Wenwen, who defeated Japan at the Asian Games in Doha last December, took fourth on 96.000.
In the women’s high dive, Mai Nakagawa reached the semifinal in fifth with 335.65 points.
Ken Terauchi, the top Japanese diver, missed out on going through to the 12-man semifinals after finishing the men’s 1-meter springboard preliminaries in 13th place. China’s Luo Yutong and compatriot He Chong were the top two performers and breezed through to the final.
Earlier Tuesday, Japan’s synchronized swimming team was left to rue its error-prone program that placed it in third place behind main rivals Russia and Spain after the free routine preliminary round.
Japan, led by Suzuki and Harada, lacked the tempo and cohesion needed to impress the judges and received 97.167 points, trailing first-placed Russia by 1.833 and Spain by 1.166. The top 12 teams advanced to Saturday’s final.
“We have to think about what we need to get more points,” Suzuki said after her team’s performance.