• Reuters

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Japan, once a top nation in synchronized swimming that nearly always secured a place on the Olympic podium, is this year struggling to hang onto the team bronze it won in Rio 2016 after already failing to retain duet bronze.

The rising star is Ukraine, which edged Japan for that medal on Wednesday and finished in third place to Japan’s fourth in the team technical event on Friday — a placement that hurts more in an Olympics hosted at home. The Russian team was first and China second.

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