Reigning world silver medalists Miya Tachibana and Miho Takeda held onto their overnight lead and advanced to the duet final with the top score in the free routine at the Japan Open on Tuesday.
Tachibana and Takeda earned a two-day total of 98.000 points with a maximum 9.9 in both technique and artistry for their program that features the Japanese “kabuki” drama, which they will perform at the Athens Olympics this summer.
Canada’s Fanny Letourneau and Courtenay Stewart took second with 95.334 points and China’s Zhang Xiaohuan and Gu Beibei were third with 93.751 heading into Wednesday’s final. In the solo free routine Tachibana, who is gunning for her 10th straight national title, extended her lead over second place Li Zhen of China with a two-day total of 97.167 points to Li’s 91.084.
Masako Tachibana is third with 88.250 points. In the team free routine, the national team of Miya Tachibana, Takeda, Juri Tatsumi, Saho Harada, Emiko Suzuki, Michiyo Fujimaru, Yoko Yoneda and Naoko Kawashima topped the field with 98.417 points.
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