Duet in synch for personal best performance

Published 16 August 2016 (AEDT)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Nikita Pablo and Rose Stackpole of Australia compete in the Women's Duets Synchronised Swimming Free Routine Preliminary Round on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. © 2016 Getty Images

SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING: Australia’s synchronised swimming duet of Rose Stackpole and Nikita Pablo have achieved so much in four short months of partnership, including a personal best score in the technical routine.

Stackpole and Pablo were second to perform at Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre today (Monday 15 August) on the second and final day of the preliminary round.

To the sound of the Australia’s iconic didgeridoo they performed technical elements including the cyclone continuous spin, fishtail continuous spin and porpoise twist walkout seemingly with ease.

The judges awarded them 73.6360 points, including 22.1000 for execution. Yesterday they scored 74.7667 in the free routine bringing their total to 148.4027.

Stackpole, 21, said it was another great day in the clear, blue pool for the Australians and they would carry this momentum and experience into the team event later this week.

“It was really good, we did another good swim, it was another personal best score for us so we’re really happy with that,” she said.

“I think for us to have done it (performed) we can go into the team, we know what to expect now and I feel like we can really be the centre for the team and calm everything down in the team and give everyone a little bit of confidence.”

Pablo, 21, said the technical routine was always the more challenging of the two, with technique being the principle judging criteria.

However, having already completed their free routine, the pair were able to focus on executing the swim they had been preparing for the four months since they began training as a pair.

“This one is a more technical routine so I would say this is my difficult routine but I thought we did really well with that,” Pablo said.

“We clicked right away together, we just tried to make it work in the four months and I think we achieved that for this level.”

Australia were the second team to swim today following competition leader Russia, who has won gold in the duet event at the past four Olympic Games.
Unintimidated by the competition, Stackpole was grateful for the opportunity to mix it among the heavyweights.

“We’re really lucky to be at this competition with all the best athletes in the world. It’s really inspiring for us to see that and it motivates us to go forward to the next Olympics,” she said.

The top 12 teams of yesterday and today’s combined scores will progress to the final round. The Australians were in 24th position after yesterday’s free routine and are unlikely to continue through to the final. The technical round continues today.

Candice Keller

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