Olympic champions line up for European Cup in Sheffield
12 May 2011
Olympic champions Russia and Olympic silver medallists Spain are set to battle for supremacy at this month’s LEN Synchronised Swimming Champions Cup in Sheffield after entries closed yesterday.
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Russia have dominated major international synchro competition in recent years having won the team and duet titles at the past three Olympic Games and the past four World Championships.
No fewer than seven gold medallists from the 2009 World Championships in Rome have been named in their team line-up while three of the others helped Russia to wins at last year’s European Championships and World Cup.
They will also be favourites in the duet with world and European champions Natalia Ischenko and Svetlana Romashina looking to defend the Champions Cup title they won in Andorra two years ago.
While Russia have led the way, Spain have consistently been the closest nation to breaking their dominance, having finished runner-up in the team and duet at the 2008 Olympic Games, 2009 World Championships and last year’s Europeans.
They name three of their Olympic team silver medallists and another three of their World Championship team silver medallists in their ranks as they aim to topple their rivals ahead of this summer’s World Championships in Shanghai.
In the duet, double Olympic medallist Andrea Fuentes will line up with Ona Carbonell – her regular partner since the retirement of veteran Gemma Mengual in 2009 – as they aim to go one better than their silver medal at the last Champions Cup two years ago.
Eleven other nations will compete in Sheffield, of which four – Great Britain, Italy, Belarus and Ukraine – will contest all three events over the three days.
In the absence of Spain and Russia, Ukraine appear best placed to top the podium in the Free Combination, having swept the board with four bronzes at last year’s European Championships while Italy name seven of the 10 swimmers who clinched silver behind Spain at the 2009 Champions Cup.
Great Britain will look to Commonwealth silver medallists Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison in the duet while the Combination team are riding high on confidence after finishing top European country in scooping bronze at the German Open.
Get the full low-down on who is competing at the LEN European Synchronised Swimming Champions Cup at our Meet the Teams page.