It’s only fitting that the most experienced Artistic Swimming athlete at the FINA World Championships, Japan’s Yukiko Inui, claimed her second gold medal in the Solo Free final event at the Hajos Alfred Swimming Complex in Budapest, Hungary.
Japan now joins China, who earned their second gold medal yesterday in the Team Technical event, as the only countries besides Russia to win multiple gold medals at a single edition of the World Championships this century.
Inui collected 95.3667 points for her gold medal performance of “Orochi, The Legendary Giant Snake with Eight Heads” to original music composedby Toshiyuki Matsumoto. Throughout the choreography, Inui expertly used the beauty and dynamics of Japanese music and imitated snake movements with all different body parts and facial expressions.
“I am happy with the result, because this is my second medal here. This was a hard fight for this gold, and I hope this victory gives power to the whole Japan team in this competition. I like this place, I have a few good memories here.”
Ukraine’s Marta Fiedina, earned her second individual silver medal by scoring 93.8000 points for the “Daisy’s Secret” routine which she swam to acompilation of music by Hungarian pianist and composer, Balazs Havasi.
At twenty years, Fiedina is the youngest World Championship medalist in Artistic Swimming in the Solo Free event since USA’s Tracy Ruiz-Conforto, who won the gold medal as a nineteen-year-old in the combined Technical and Free Solo event in 1994.
Greece’s Evangelia Platanioti’s secured her and Greece’s second bronze medal in Budapest with a routine score of 91.7667. Inspired by the Pandemic and the importance to continue moving forward in life, Platanioti chose the song “The Show Must Go On” by Freddie Mercury and Queen, for her choreography, whichincluded a creative deck portion, that has not been seen before.
“I have to say this was the best competition of my life, I can’t describe how I feel, I am more than super happy, because I was really giving. A few days ago Greece got a first medal in this sport, and now we have a second one, this is a historical moment for us. I have to say that I really love Budapest, because here in this pool I had my very first European Championships, when I was 16 years old. When I was here last year, I got two European medals, and now I added two World medals, so I love this city.”
Team Free Preliminary
If the performances during the preliminary round are any indication, the final for the Team Free event on Friday will be a very exciting one. China, leading the twelve qualified countries with 95.8000 points, Japan, in third, and Spain, in fourth, have all won this event once before.
The Ukrainian team, in a close second, has been on the podium at three of the last four World Championships. However, do not dismiss the possibility of a medal for either Italy or France after their performance today.