GWANGJU, /South Korea/, July 15. /TASS/. The Russian duo of Maya Gurbanberdiyeva and Alexander Maltsev won gold on Monday in the Mixed Duet Technical Routine at the 2019 FINA (International Swimming Federation) in South Korea’s Gwangju.
The Russian synchronized swimming pair earned 92.0749 points for their program Tango, gaining gold. The duo of Manila Flamini and Giorgio Minisini from Italy won silver with 90.8511 points and Japanese synchronized swimmers Atsushi Abe and Yumi Adachi landed with bronze with 88.5113.
At the previous FINA World Championships, hosted by Hungary’s Budapest in 2017, Maltsev, who competed in pair with Mikhaela Kalancha, won silver in the Mixed Duet Technical Routine.
Gurbanberdiyeva, 20, is two-time gold medalist of the 2018 European Championships as well as two-time winner of the 2015 European Championships, while her current synchro swimming partner Maltsev, 24, is three-time FINA World Champion (2015, 2017, 2019) and two-time silver medalist of the FINA World Championships (2015, 2017).
Gurbanberdiyeava and Maltsev are now set to vie for more medals of the 2019 FINA World Championships on July 19 in the Mixed Duet Free Routine.
Commenting on winning gold on Monday, Maltsev told TASS that he and his partner Gurbanberdiyeva had no doubts as to winning the world championships.
"This year we enjoyed successful performances at the World Series, while the Italian duo never demonstrated their technical program and we never knew what to expect from them," Maltsev said in an interview with TASS after the competition.
"However, we were confident since judges had been reawarding us with decent points and the most important for us was to keep on," Maltsev continued.
"What are my emotions about the gold? I would say it is good that I have it now," Maltsev said. "Our task was to take gold in both disciplines and since we confidently won two golds of the European Championships in the disciplines, the past of the World Championships is no burden for us."
Gurbanberdiyeva told TASS after the competition that she intended to continue competing in mixed duets at the international level and hoped that this discipline would be included in the program of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.
"Yes, I definitely want to continue competing in the mixed duet competitions," she said in an interview with TASS. "I was asked on many occasions whether I had planned to switch to the synchro team competitions, just like the previous partners of Alexander [Maltsev] did, but I have no such plans."
The International Swimming Federation repeatedly stated that it was pursuing the task of entering the Mixed Duet Synchronized Swimming competitions on the official Olympics program starting with the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
"I really enjoy competing in this discipline and I see future in it," the Russian synchro swimmer continued. "Since coming to the Mixed Duet competitions, I am discovering new things for myself and the nature of synchronized swimming has changed completely for me."
"I am ready to continue competing in this discipline and wait for its inclusion in the official program of the Olympic Games," the athlete added.
The 2020 Summer Olympic Games will be held in the Japanese capital of Tokyo between July 24 and August 9 and will see a total of 339 medal sets to be contested in 33 sports (50 disciplines).
Besides today’s gold medal in the Mixed Duet Technical Routine, the Russian synchronized swimming team earlier won two more gold medals — in the Solo Technical Routine by Svetlana Kolesnichenko and in the Duet Technical Routine by Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina.
The Russian national swimming team is currently runner-up with three golds and one silver medal in the overall medal standings of the 2019 FINA World Championships behind the leaders China (seven gold, one silver and one bronze medal) and ahead of Hungary (1 gold) that holds 3rd place.
The 2019 FINA World Championship is hosted by the South Korean city of Gwangju between July 12 and 28.