Japanese pair finishes 2nd in synchro qualifying


Synchronized swimming duo Emiko Suzuki and Saho Harada got off to a solid start in their medal quest Saturday, breezing through the technical routine qualifying round in second place on the opening day of the world swimming championships.

Suzuki and Harada bounced back from a shock defeat to Chinese twins Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen at the Asian Games in December to earn 97.167 points for their skillful duet performance, 1.333 behind Russian favorites Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova.

Spaniards Gemma Mengual and Paola Tirados were third with 96.833 and the Chinese pair, overseen by Japanese coach Masayo Imura, followed in fourth with 96.333 as the top 12 duos advanced to Tuesday’s final.

“I had this thought in mind that one of our goals is to give the entire Japanese swimming team here the momentum it needs to perform well at these championships,” Suzuki said.