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Russia lead the way in Sheffield
The first day of competition at the LEN European Synchronised Swimming Champions Cup saw Olympic Champions prove their calibre with excellent routines.
The first day saw Duet Technical, Duet Free and Team technical routines being performed with Ponds Forge.
The Russian Duet will go into the final of the Free Duet in first place after putting in a commanding performance in the Technical and Free programme.
Natalia Ishcenko and Svetlana Romashina looked powerful throughout the routines and took 97.700 for the Technical Programme and 98.140 in the Free Programme.
They hold a five point lead before the final with a total score of 195.840. The Spanish Duet of Ona Carbonell and Andrea Fuentes are ranked second after scoring a total of 190.940.
"We have only been training together for a short time but we have a good Duet," Fuentes said. "We finished the choreography for our routine a few weeks ago and we have been training really hard with Ana to be ready for this competition."
Ukraine's Daria Lushko and Kseniya Sydorenko scored a total of 187.260 to finish in third.
Great Britain's Duet of Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison finished in sixth place overall with a score of 177.660.
Their Technical routine, which is performed to Daft Punk's Technologic, opened the whole competition and the crowd were screaming for them as they performed their spider themed Free routine.
"The routine went really well," Randall said. "The atmosphere here is great. I am disappointed with the scores because I think we could have got a higher mark but we will come back ready for the final. It was good that Biz [Price] thought it was a good swim and I think we were really together throughout it."
In the Team event Russia once again impressed with their precision and power as they executed the elements excellently.
Their moves, which were sharp and intense, earned them a score of 97.200 ahead of the Team Free routine tomorrow.
"We are happy," Anisya Olkhova said. "But we can do better. Our coach is happy so this is good."
Spain secured a total of 95.200 after their high paced routine and go into the final in second place.
Ana Tarres, Head Coach of Spain, commented: "That was a great performance especially with the changed to the Team. I am really happy with both the Duet and Team performances. I haven't seen much of the other teams prior to the event because I have been training but the standard here in Sheffield is high."
Ukraine are third in the rankings after the first Prelim with a score of 92.800.
The British Team, powered by British Gas, are in fifth place ahead of the Free routine after scoring 86.300 with their Queen inspired routine.
"We went into that routine really focussing on our patterns and discipline," Allison said. "We had really good energy in practise but our patterns were a bit out. So we focussed on pulling it together and we just got good feedback from the judges. The routine felt good."
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
12. December 89
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day