REVIEW Olympics Synchronised swimming-Evil dolls and rap music, the brand new face of synchro

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Artistic Swimming – Women’s Duet Free Routine – Final – Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – August 4, 2021. Anna Maria Alexandri of Austria and Eirini Alexandri of Austria throughout their efficiency. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

TOKYO, Aug 8 (Reuters) – The alluring voice of an evil doll invitations folks to “come out and play”. Witches, spiders and snakes cavort in edgy routines. Teams spin and twist to hip-hop and rap within the water.

It is the brand new face of synchronised swimming, geared toward altering the picture of a sport lengthy derided as flailing limbs, splashing water and fluffy water ballet completed to florid classical music, and it dominated the Tokyo Games competitors.

“Until 2019, we just swam classical music,” stated Eirini Alexandri, who together with her equivalent twin sister carried out the chilling evil doll duet routine for Austria, their fits bearing a threatening face.

“So we said OK, we have to change style.”

The sport’s official identify was additionally modified to “artistic swimming” in 2017 by worldwide swimming organisation FINA as a part of a rebranding try.

The sport is a mix of muscle and beauty. Swimmers have to carry their breath for prolonged intervals underwater, swim in tight, intricate patterns in synchronisation with music, make eye contact with judges – and have all of it look straightforward.

There are prices, with swimmers identified to faint.

U.S. athlete Anita Alvarez briefly misplaced consciousness on the finish of her routine at a qualifier in Barcelona this summer season and needed to be pulled from the water. She and her duet associate appeared at Tokyo however didn’t make it to the finals.

Swimmers collide in follow, resulting in bruises, bloody noses and worse. The sport additionally sees excessive charges of concussion.

Though the outcomes had been predictable – Russian athletes continued a golden sweep unbroken since Sydney 2000, with China shut behind – different adjustments had been notable.

Music ranged from a scattering of classical to hip-hop, rap and a tune from a digital singer, whereas routines went from light-hearted to edgy.

On Saturday, Spain’s routine was “evolution,” full with dinosaur-like spines on the again of the workforce’s fits, whereas different groups expressed worldwide unity or the connection between mankind and nature.

“We changed our tech team music to something really upbeat,” Australian swimmer Emily Rogers stated after scoring a workforce technical greatest with a routine to “Tokyo Drift,” by the Japanese hip-hop group “Teriyaki Boyz.”

“So maybe that was another reason why it’s been our best score yet – because it’s so much fun.”

Reporting by Elaine Lies and Mayu Sakoda; Editing by Peter Rutherford

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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