• Kyodo

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Japan secured its second medal of the world swimming championships with a synchronized swimming bronze in the free routine combination on Saturday.

China took the gold with 96.1000 points, while Ukraine (94.0000) was runner-up and Japan was third with 93.2000. Despite their second bronze, Japan’s swimmers were bitter about the result.

“We have to use our frustration from this defeat as a springboard,” Yukiko Inui said. “The only thing we can do is work hard as we take the next step.”

It was Japan’s second straight worlds bronze in the category. Inui was joined on the podium by Mai Nakamura, Kanami Nakamaki, Sakiko Akutsu, Juka Fukumura, Minami Kono, Kei Marumo, Kano Omata, Asuka Tasaki and Yuriko Osawa.

Head coach Masayo Imura didn’t mince words.

“It was a comprehensive defeat,” said Imura, whose team was the last to perform in the final. “The judges looked at those teams before us and had them ahead of us, even before we jumped into the pool.

“We are going to dig into various aspects and improve. There’s no way we are going to stay on this trajectory and finish (in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics) like this.”

Japan’s first medal at these worlds, also a bronze, was in the team technical routine on Tuesday.

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