A beautiful display from Cheng Wentao and Shi Haoyu saw the People’s Republic of China cap an amazing artistic swimming programme in Doha with their seventh title.
The Chinese artistic swimming team have been dominant in the Qatari capital, winning seven of the 11 gold medals on offer at the World Aquatics Championships – Doha 2024.
Dominant China Finish In Style
China cemented their place at the summit of the artistic swimming medal table, with seven golds, one silver and one bronze.
Cheng and Shi received silver in the Mixed Duet Technical after picking up a basemark in the final element but they made sure they put together a flawless routine to move to the top of the Mixed Duet Free standings.
The Chinese duo produced a superb portrayal of the theme “Romeo and Juliet”.
They started the routine with brilliant acrobatic moves before showcasing amazing alignment and height out of the water and synchronization in all their elements.
A score of 224.1437, including 137.1937 for elements and 86.9500 for artistic impression to a difficulty of 39.350 saw Cheng and Shi successfully defend the title.
“Winning the World Championship not once, but twice is indeed a great achievement for both of us,” said Shi.
“The first time we won the Championship, it caught us by surprise but this time we had a feeling that we were on the right track.
“We’ve only started competing together since last year’s World Championships but we trust each other a lot and this helps us to avoid nervousness on the stage.”
Cheng added: “Winning the gold medal at the World Championship on the Chinese New Year is indeed a great feeling and this memory will stay with us for a lifetime.”
Spanish Pair Bounce Back To Seal Silver
There was agony for Gonzalez Boneu and Hernandez Luna in the Mixed Duet Technical as they finished one place short of a medal.
Fuelled by that disappointment, Gonzalez Boneu and Hernandez Luna responded superbly to secure silver in the Mixed Duet Free.
Gonzalez Boneu, who was voted as World Aquatics’ Male Artistic Swimming Athlete of the Year for 2023, combined brilliantly with Hernandez Luna as they produced excellent musicality and synchronization to their “Hip Hop” routine.
They increased their difficulty to 37.350 for the final and they were rewarded, gaining a total of 208.3583 featuring 122.0083 for elements and 86.3500 for artistic impression.
It is the second successive year the Spanish duo have picked up a medal in the event having claimed bronze at Fukuoka 2023.
“In this Championship, we introduced a new choreography and we are very proud of our work,” said Gonzalez Boneu.
“We kept going to achieve this medal and we are very happy with our team.
“We made mistakes in the last Championship so we tried to maintain the perfect routine this time and we got the medal.”
Mexican Duo Win Battle For Bronze
One basemark was the difference as a mistake in the sixth hybrid cost Cerquera Hatiusca and Sanchez a medal as they were awarded 191.8729.
They occupied top spot before being overtaken by three pairings, with Meza Rodriguez and Villalobos Carrillo completing the podium.
It was a high-paced routine from Meza Rodriguez and Villalobos Carrillo as they produced wonderful artistry and synchronicity to their theme about “La Llorona” – a mythical Mexican legend, also known as “The Weeping Women.”
They secured bronze with a score of 192.5772 including 114.2272 for elements and 78.3500 for artistic impression to a difficulty of 35.950.
“My reaction when I saw our score on the screen and knew that we had won a medal was totally genuine,” said Meza Rodriguez.
“I couldn’t hold back these tears.
“It’s the first time for me.”