Lausanne, October 10, 2007 – From October 12-14, eight of the strongest teams on the planet will perform in duet, team and free combination, fighting for the World Trophy awarded at the end of the three-day competition.
In fact, the formula of the World Trophy is rather easy to understand; with direct finals – duet on October 12, team on October 13, and free combination on October 14 –, the scores for which are then added towards a general ranking for the World Trophy. This format, which requires each country to compete in all three events, turned out to be both successful and comprehensive for media and spectators during the first edition of the competition, held in October 2006 in Moscow (RUS).
Just like last year, the Russian delegation is expected to dominate the competition after the supremacy they have shown in recent years. In 2006, they secured the World Trophy with successes in both duet and team, although they lost to the USA in the free combination final. On the occasion of the 2007 FINA World Championships, for example, Anastasia Davydova, Anastasia Ermakova and company only lost one of the seven gold medals at stake.
Japan and Spain will be the next teams to ‘follow’. In Melbourne, the advantage went to the Europeans (four silver and two bronze, while the Asian delegation got two silver and four bronze), but in Rio an interesting fight will certainly take place for second place in the world hierarchy, behind ‘untouchable’ Russia.
After the ‘big three’ (Japan, Russia and Spain), and without China, the USA and Italy will be the teams to beat. The Americans will begin with a certain advantage, but Italy has been working hard in recent years to consolidate its status as a nation close to the ‘podium area’. The absence of the Canadian squad will facilitate the task for the Europeans, that will do everything possible to challenge the USA.
The remaining three teams of the competition are Brazil, Mexico and Egypt. The Brazilians, at home, are the favourites for the sixth overall placing, while the Mexicans and Egyptians will contest their ‘private’ fight for the seventh/eighth spot.
The second edition of the FINA Synchronised Swimming World Trophy will be held at the Maria Lenk National Aquatic Centre, a new facility that recently hosted the aquatic competitions of the Pan American Games.
Attractive prize money will also be at stake at the end of the three-day competition. A total of US$154,500 will be distributed to the eight nations on the ranking of the World Trophy as follows:
• 1st Place US$50,000
• 2nd Place US$30,000
• 3rd Place US$20,000
• 4th Place US$15,000
• 5th Place US$12,500
• 6th Place US$10,000
• 7th Place US$9,000
• 8th Place US$8,000
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS