• Kyodo

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The defending champion pair of Miya Tachibana and Miho Takeda let a chance to win another gold slip away when they finished behind the Russian duo in the synchronized swimming duet final at the World Swimming Championships on Friday.

Japan’s Tachibana and Takeda had to settle for silver with 98.084 after Anastasia Dadydova and Anastasia Ermakova scored 99.084 points for their first victory. Russia also beat Japan in Tuesday’s duet free program as well as in Sunday’s technical.

Spain’s Gemma Mengual and Paola Tirados came from behind to win the bronze with a score of 96.667.

“We tried a new program, so I’m curious to find out how the judges rated this. We’ve been working hard for the gold medal, so I’m very upset,” said Tachibana, who missed out on a medal in the solo final a day earlier.

“I feel like we were able to attract the fans, but maybe it wasn’t the same for the judges. I wanted the fans to be moved by our performance more than worrying about the scores,” Takeda said.

In 2001, Tachibana and Takeda outperformed Dadydova and Ermakova in Fukuoka to claim the gold by collecting five perfect scores from the judges, one in technical merit and four in artistic impression.

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