• Kyodo

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Japanese synchronized swimmers won the team technical routine silver medal at the FINA World Swimming Championships Wednesday.

The team of Naoko Kawashima, Chisa Kobayashi, Hiromi Kobayashi, Erika Komura, Ayako Matsumura, Emiko Suzuki, Erina Suzuki and Masako Tachibana scored 97.833 points. Russia collected 99.000 to win its fourth medal in as many events.

Spain took the bronze with 97.167. China was fourth and the United States fifth.

“I’m very pleased with the result. We tried to put our duet technical routine loss to Spain behind,” Emiko Suzuki said.

Her duet with Saho Harada finished third behind silver-winning Spaniards Gemma Mengual and Paola Tirados on Tuesday. Russia’s Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova won the event.

“This team’s technical routine was very important for us,” Matsumura said. “I thought if we got a medal, it could lift our confidence toward the Olympics.”

Japan improved its score by 0.166 from the preliminary round, receiving 9.8 marks from four of the five judges for execution.

Earlier Wednesday, Japanese synchro duo Emiko Suzuki and Matsumura advanced to the duet free routine final after placing third behind Russian and Spanish pairs in the preliminary round.

The Japanese lost some sync in a spinning sequence and earned 96.833 points for their sub-par performance.

Technical routine gold medalists Davydova and Ermakova cruised into Friday’s final in first place with 98.833 points. Spaniards Mengual and Tirados followed in second with 98.000. The final will feature the top 12 pairs.

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