The first two World Aquatics Youth Artistic Swimming Champions crowned on Day 3 in Athens were both first-time medal winners for their countries at a Youth World Championships.
With Athens marking just the 3rd edition of this age group’s World Championships, athletes from Italy and China claimed their first medal in the youth ranks. Italy’s Filippo Pelati and China’s Heyue Ji and Shuncheng Yang not only won the first medal for their country, they won the gold.
The waters at the indoor Kypros pool of the Hellenic Army Academy heated up several degrees today, as all two hundred and seventy competitors competed in the same event, the Figures competition. The scores received for the four figures will be added to the Free routine scores in each of the events to determine the finalists and ultimately the medal winners.
Solo Free Men
Italian Filippo Pelati executed his routine perfectly to a rendition of the classic song “Fallin’” to receive the full declared difficulty, 23.45 points for a routine score total 170.8500.
Pelati's second-day score was enough compared to his closest competitors to surpass both Yang and Chan to step onto the top of the podium and claim Italy’s first-ever gold medal in this event with 250.5167 points in Athens.
With a head start in points after the Figures competition, China’s Shuncheng Yang was unable to execute his declared difficulty during his presentation of his “Warriors of the Night” choreography, swum to electronic music by Canadian music producer Datsik. Yang received 154.2542 points for his routine, for a combined final score of 236.4360 points and the silver medal.
USA’s Michael Chan, received only a portion of his declared difficulty, 17.80 points, for his presentation of “Emotional Turmoil” which was swum to the powerful song “You?” by Two Feet. The total routine score, 146.4187 points added to his strong Figures scores secured Chan the bronze medal and a spot on the podium with 227.9338 points.
Mixed Duet Free
Already winner of a silver medal earlier today in the Solo, China’s Shuncheng Yang continued his impressive showing in Athens as he and Mixed Duet partner Heyue Ji performed “The Wheel of Fortune” routine choreographed to the song “That’s My Bike” by Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro from the original soundtrack from the movie “Army of Thieves.”
The Chinese pair scored 167.2146 for their routine to win the gold with a total score of 243.1085 points. Yang and Ji are China’s first-ever Youth World Champions in the Mixed Duet event.
Spain’s Helena Lopez Castrillo and Eneko Sanchez Aguilar were awarded 22.95 for their executed difficulty. Their performance in the routine part of the event was awarded 160.9750 points. Added to the scores of the Figure competition, the Spanish pair won Spain their first medal in Athens, a silver with 234.4902 points.
Donning beautiful yellow and black sequined suits, USA’s Abigail Gallon and Michael Chan performed a beautiful “Tango” to the song “Jango” by Jay-Z. The American duo received 146.9855 points for their routine score, which added to their figure scores totalled 223.0461 points to claim the bronze medal.
Although this is not a medal event, the results are very important in determining the eventual medal winners. It is an individual event, but the female and male athletes compete together and are scored on their performance of the Whip Continuous Spin 720°, Saturn, Venus, and Albatross Spin up 360° figures. USA’s Kanako Field performed the four figures the best, scored 83.2727 points.
The top twelve of the figures include fourth-place finisher Greece’s Vasiliki Thanou, in sixth USA’s Michael Chan, and in eleventh Italian Filippo Pelati, who are all in medal contention in the Solo and Duet events.
Noteworthy, are the three Spanish athletes, Daniela Suarez Fernandez, Daniela Velazquez Ruiz, and Naia Alvarez Vicente, in seventh, eight, and ninth, who’s strong showing will assist Spain in the Team event final scores.
WHAT'S UP NEXT?
Follow the competition by visiting the World Aquatics website for all results. The schedule for the five remaining finals and Gala over the next two days in Athens, Greece is as follows (all times shown in EET)
Saturday, 2 September
- 9:30 Solo Free Women Final
- 18:30 Mixed Team Free Combination Final
Sunday, 3 September
- 9:30 Duet Free Final
- 18:30 Team Free Final
- 20:00 Team Acrobatic