Anita Alvarez, Synchronized Swimming Team Makes Finals
Anita Alvarez of Kenmore, NY and her partner Mariya Koroleva put together a strong performance Monday in the technical primaries, punching their ticket to the synchronized swimming duet final.
The duo performed well earning an 86.4612, which was good for ninth place overall. Despite their best efforts however, they couldn’t keep up with some of the best other teams in the world. Russia finishes out in front posting a 96.4577, with China nipping at their heels earning a score of 95.3688. Ukraine, Japan, and Spain round out the top-five. The Americans finished the free program in ninth place, making them qualify ninth overall.
Alvarez, 19, and Koroleva, 26, are looking to become the first Americans to finish on the podium in the event since the 2004 Olympic games. They will be behind already in the race for a medal though, as the finals tallies will include both the final free routine points, combined with the preliminary technical scores. That means that catching all the teams in front of them will be that much more difficult. The final will take place on Tuesday afternoon.
They were considered long shots even when the games started, never finishing on the top in any of the top competitions, although they did come home with a gold medal in the Pan-Am games. While they are there to compete for a medal, they will also be gaining valuable experience, especially from watching some of the other top nations in the world swimming. Learning more will help them moving forward, especially since both of them are still young enough to fight for a spot on the 2020 Olympic squad.
The duo qualified for the Olympics when they finished seventh in a qualifying event held in Rio in March. Alvarez began swimming at age five, and since her mother was a synchronized swimming coach for 30 years, she began working the sport almost immediately. They are the only American synchronized swimming team to make the games, after the eight women team didn’t make it.
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