Six appeal: Russian artistic swimming star Romashina lands historic Olympic gold as she & Kolesnichenko take Tokyo title
Svetlana Romashina became the most successful artistic swimmer in Olympic history as she and duet partner Svetlana Kolesnichenko won gold in the Tokyo pool with another flawless display on Wednesday.
Appearing in black spider-themed swimwear, Romashina and Kolesnichenko finished top of the pile in the women’s duet after their free routine, ending with a total of 195.9079 points.
That put the duo comfortably ahead of China's Huang Xuechen and Sun Wenyan in second, with Ukrainian pair Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk taking home the bronze medal.
For Romashina, 31, the title is her sixth at the Olympic Games – adding to her double gold at both the Rio and London Games and single title in Beijing – putting her out on her own as the most successful Olympian her sport has ever seen.
The Muscovite also has a remarkable 21 world championship titles to her name.
The gold for Kolesnichenko, 27, was her second at the Olympics after she won the team title in Rio.
Kolesnichenko is also a 16-time world champion.
Russian swimmers – this time competing under the banner of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) – have been all-conquering in artistic swimming events (formerly known as synchronized swimming) in recent editions of the Games, winning both the duet and team events at the past five Olympics prior to Tokyo.
Romashina has completed a hat-trick of titles in the duet, having won her past two golds with Natalia Ishchenko – whom she now moves ahead of in the all-time gold medal stakes.
After her latest feat, Romashina suggested that the Tokyo Games could be her last.
“I understand that these are my final Olympic Games, I’m not young. My physical strength is not what it was at 18 years old," she told the Russian media.
"Now I’m swimming on experience. Not youth or freshness, I’m not a zealous young horse who runs at full speed no matter where.
"Now I’m an experienced horse! The type that a hundred times will think is it necessary to run anywhere at all?’”
Online, Romashina was hailed for another incredible showing on Wednesday, where fans described her as a "legend" following yet another typically "impeccable" performance.
Well, Svetlana Romashina just won her sixth Olympic gold. Impeccable swim. 98.8000, for a combined score of 195.9079. Unattainable. #ArtisticSwimming— Inside Synchro (@inside_synchro) August 4, 2021
SIX 👏 OLYMPIC 👏 GOLD 👏 MEDALS 👏Svetlana Romashina becomes the Olympic Champion for the 6th time as she and partner Svetlana Kolesnichenko storm to gold in the women's duet artistic swimming. 🙌A legend of the sport. Congratulations!#Tokyo2020#ArtisticSwimming@fina1908pic.twitter.com/J9XSNTxruE— Athlete365 (@Athlete365) August 4, 2021
Remarkably, Romashina will go for Olympic gold number seven when she competes for the ROC in the team event later this week.
The gold on Wednesday was the ROC's 14th at this summer's Games, putting them sixth in the medal table.