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Russian Davydova-Ermakova Secures Gold

Posted August. 26, 2004 21:59,   


The water stood still while a glimpse of moonlight spread throughout the pool.

Perfectly attuned to the melody of “Don Quixote,” the two mermaids dove into the water.

Although two people were performing, they looked as if they were one.

Moments after their elegant hand performance, the two disappeared into the water, then reappeared with their legs high, breaking through the surface.

Six thousand men and women couldn’t take their eyes off of this magnificent splendor, and as soon as their act was complete, everyone got up, handing the mermaids a well-deserved standing ovation.

On August 26, the finals for the 2004 Athens Olympics duet synchronized swimming were held at the Aquatic Center.

Russia`s Anastasia Ermakova and Anastasia Davydova won the gold, scoring 99.343 points, while Japan’s Miya Dachinaba and Takeda Miho took the silver, scoring 98.417 points, which awarded Japan its second consecutive silver medal in the event following the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Davydova said, “I’m very happy. I waited and prepared 15 years for this moment.”

Davydova and Ermakova scored a perfect score from eight out of 10 judges for their freestyle performance. Their artistic impressions were impressive at least. All five judges handed them perfect scores.

For their technical merit, only the judges from Japan and Great Britain handed out 9.9. While the judge from Great Britain was well-known to stubbornly withhold perfect scores, the judge from Japan most likely withheld a perfect score to give his country a shot at the gold.

Korea’s synchronized swimming coach Lee Hyun-ae also added, “I haven’t seen any athlete who received so many perfect scores. Their performance was flawless enough to say they weren’t human.”

The Russians, who finished second at the 2001 Fukuoka World Championships because of Japan’s home advantage, finished first during last year’s World Championships.

However, even participating in the Olympics was not an easy task.

Retired Sydney Olympic gold medalists Olga Brusnikina and Maria Kisseleva had returned to tryout for the Russian national team. After an intense Russian National team selection process that ended with a 2-1 victory in favor of Davydova and Ermakova, they came to Athens.

Both 21 years of age, Davydova and Ermakova trained eight hours in the pool and two hours at the gymnasium for six years, which includes the two years when they were junior swimmers.

Both Davydova and Ermakova were eager to “win their next gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.”

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com