On the second day of the second stop of the 2023 Artistic Swimming World Cup four sets of medals were up for grabs at the Piscine Olympique Angelotti in beautiful Montpellier, France. Four different anthems were played, and eight different countries won medals today, a variety that validates that the future of artistic swimming competitions will be unpredictable.
Having the perfect swim can bring anyone to the top of the podium, while the risk factor can have a significant influence on the outcome of the competition.
Solo Technical Women
Japan’s Yukiko Inui, the reigning World Aquatics Champion, wins her second gold medal in Montpellier with her “Life of a droplet” routine depicting her love for water and life as an artistic swimming athlete.
Finishing second in Markham behind Ukraine’s Marta Fiedina, today Inui’s nearly flawless performance of the same routine with a significant increase in the degree of difficulty, 29.2000, secured her the top of the podium with 282.2583 points.
After a disappointing performance in yesterday’s Free event, today Fiedina was able to execute the declared difficulties for the technical requirements in her “Bird of Liberty” routine. Fiedina took the silver medal by receiving 27.2500 for difficulty and a total of 263.3083 points.
Claiming the bronze medal with 254.6542 points was Spain’s Iris Tio Casa, who expressively swam to romantic music composed by Gustav Mahler to show what the element of “Fire” can do.
Solo Technical Men
In a closely contested event, Fernando Diaz del Rio Soto of Spain, won his first gold medal in the 2023 World Cup series for his performance to the song “Unholy”, by Sam Smith and Kim Petras. After winning silver medals in Markham and earlier this weekend in the Free Solo, Diaz del Rio Soto topped the podium with 214.4959 points.
Kazakhstan’s Eduard Kim earned the highest difficulty score, 24.1500, securing the silver medal with a total of 208.0083 points, a huge improvement from the 154.6125 score Kim received just a few weeks ago in Markham for his routine “S.O.S. d'un terrien en détresse”.
Winning his third bronze medal in Montpellier, Gustavo Sanchez, representing Colombia performed his new routine “The End of the World” on music from “Avengers” to just edge out young debutant Great Britain’s Ranjuo Tomblin with 200.8833 points.
Duet Free Women
The entries for the Free Duet, similarly to the technical event, counted twenty-four strong duets competing for the top honors. Ukrainians Maryna and Vladyslava Aleksiiva, redeemed themselves after a very disappointing swim in the Technical Duet event, and won the first gold medal for Ukraine in Montpellier. Their choreography, themed “Scramble to Position” had a massive degree of difficulty, which the pair executed well enough to receive 35.2500 points for difficulty, resulting in a final score of 370.2791 points, more than thirty-six points ahead of the silver medalists, Japanese Moe Higa, and Mashiro Yasunaga.
The Japanese duo finished in fourth in Markham with the routine “Black Panther” by sound creator Koji Sakurai but improved their score in just a few weeks with almost 60 points to finish in second with 334.0125 points.
Great Britain’s Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe’s theme “The Rising Phoenix” is a metaphor to the rebirth of Artistic Swimming with the new scoring system. Shortman and Thorpe, duet partners and best friends since they were ten years old, earned 324.3958 points and the bronze medal for their solid execution of a technically difficult routine.
Mixed Team Technical
An impressive fourteen teams competed in the Mixed Team Technical event. Most of the teams presented new routines, but even though a team is allowed up to two males in their line-up, not one of today’s teams included a male athlete. With 347.9332 points, the gold medal was awarded to the routine “Speed and Passion” performed by the current World Champions China.
World Aquatics Championships silver medalists, Japan, claimed the silver medal for their choreography “Thunder” with 338.2854 points. The team representing the USA started with the highest declared difficulty and the Americans were able to execute it well enough to reach the podium for the bronze medal. The popular and well-known routine “Smooth Criminal” swum to music by Michael Jackson earned 316.7834 points.
Catch the excitement on the final day in Montpellier
The final day of competition, Sunday, includes the Free Team, Free Mixed Duet, and Acrobatic Routine. The ever-popular Gala event will be the closing event of the 2023 Montpellier Artistic Swimming World Cup. All results are on the World Aquatics website, and can be viewed live on World Aquatics YouTube.
Sunday, May 7th
- 10:30 CET Team Free
- 14:30 CET Mixed Free Duet
- 17:15 CET Acrobatic Routine and Gala