Synchronised swimming: grace under water


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The Independent Online

While Britain indulged in an orgy of athletics, cycling, tennis and sailing yesterday, the world's best synchronised swimmers dived in at the Aquatic Centre for the qualifying round of the London 2012 competition.

Graceful, elegant and – occasionally – frightening-looking, the women expertly demonstrated moves with names such as the crane, the flamingo and the side fishtail. One of the few single-gender sports in the Olympics, it is often overlooked in this country, while its fans say its difficulty is often underestimated.

There are two competitions at the games: the duets, which have their final tomorrow, and the teams competition, which takes place across Thursday and Friday. In both, athletes perform a technical and a free routine. Britain's duet, Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici, came a respectable ninth in yesterday's competition, but Russia remain the strong favourites, having won both the duet and team competitions in every Olympics since 2000.