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Russian synchronized swimming team has long player’s bench — athlete

August 19, 21:23 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO
A potential retirement of five-time Olympic champions Natalya Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina can hardly be a blow to the rest of the team
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 Natalya Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina

Natalya Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

RIO DE JANEIRO, August 19 /TASS/. The Russian women’s synchronized swimming team has a good substitutes’ bench, and a potential retirement of five-time Olympic champions Natalya Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina can hardly be a blow to the rest of the team, Natalya Ishchenko told journalists on Friday.

Ishchenko and Romashina won gold medals both in duets and in the team event in Rio. After their victory in duets earlier this week, the swimmers said they would make serious career decisions after the Olympics.

"I think that we have a very good substitutes’ bench. Russia is the leader in world synchronized swimming, including juniors and youth teams. They win European and world championships. Therefore, we will have a good replacement even if Sveta and I retire," Ishchenko said.

"I feel great. I am overwhelmed with emotions when I realize that Sveta and I are five-time Olympic champions. We controlled our feelings for so long for fear of splattering our emotions but now we can give vent to our feelings and enjoy our victories in full measure," the synchronized swimmer said.

The Russians scored 99.1333 points in the free routine final. "It is an absolute record under a new judging system. When we got out of the water and saw the scores, we understood that we had won. We had a huge lead after the technical routine and scoring more points was simply impossible," Ishchenko went on to say.

The Russian women presented their Olympic free routine called "Molba" (prayer) at the World Championships in 2015. It was slightly modified for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"It’s always easier for the audience to watch a funny and cheerful performance rather than a prayer. It is much more difficult to convey these feelings to the viewers. But I think that we coped with the task," Ishchenko stressed.

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