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Couch underlines medal hopes with personal best

July 25, 2013
Britain's Tonia Couch performs a dive at the women's 10m platform semi-final during the World Swimming Championships at the Montjuic municipal pool in Barcelona (Reuters)

Britain’s Tonia Couch performs a dive at the women’s 10m platform semi-final during the World Swimming Championships at the Montjuic municipal pool in Barcelona (Reuters)

Tonia Couch admitted she was lost for words after a career best qualifying performance at the diving World Championships in Barcelona.

Couch posted a personal best 368.15 to finish second behind China’s Olympic and defending world champion Chen Ruolin.

And hopes are now high that she could win Britain’s first medal in the Catalan capital, while she will be joined in the final by team-mate and training partner Sarah Barrow, who ranked sixth in qualifying.

“I don’t actually know what happened,” said Couch. “I seemed to be able to put everything together at the same time so I’m really pleased with myself.

“This has made me a lot more confident. Going into the prelims, I was a little worried because I hadn’t done an individual at this level since the worlds in 2011.

“I’m going to go into the final and do the same and enjoy myself because I really enjoyed myself today and it put me in a good position to dive.

“It was really exciting at the end but in a way, I’m glad I didn’t finish first because I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself, I’ve got nothing to lose.”

Svetlana Romashina‘s jaunty Marilyn Monroe-inspired free routine secured her third gold medal of the championships and made it four out of four for synchronised swimming’s dominant nation Russia.

Following her titles in technical solo and duet and Russia’s success in the team technical, in which she did not compete, Romashina wowed spectators at the Palau Sant Jordi with an energetic and theatrical performance to earn 97.340 points.

Romashina wore a costume resembling a Monroe ensemble and performed to the song “I Wanna Be Loved By You” from the celebrated 1958 Billy Wilder romantic comedy “Some Like It Hot”, in which the American film star played the vocalist and ukelele player Suger Kane.

China’s Huang Xuechen was second on 95.720 points with a Phantom of the Opera-themed effort and local favourite Ona Carbonell of Spain took bronze with an homage to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics that earned her 94.290 points.

Previously overshadowed by her compatriot Natalia Ishchenko, who is taking a sabbatical, Romashina has moved seamlessly into her new role as the leading synchronised swimmer both for her country and in international competition.

A three-times Olympic champion, the 24-year-old said the idea for the Monroe routine had come from coach Tatiana Dachenko’s daughter Elena.

“She has had this idea for the last two years but we didn’t know which athlete would do it,” Romashina said, adding that she had been more nervous for the free event than in Saturday’s technical programme.

“I like the character so I was really happy to play this role,” she said.

Romashina has a chance for a fourth gold of the championships in Thursday’s free duet with partner Svetlana Kolesnichenko, with whom she won the technical duet on Sunday.



From → Aquatic News

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