LONDON - Israel's synchronized swimmers Anastasia Gloushkov and Inna Yoffe failed to advance to the final yesterday after placing 17th in the free routine qualification round.
The duo, performing toward the end of the 24 teams, combined music with an optimistic and amusing beat. In the second half of their routine, the two continued with music that had a Latin feel and a number of interesting elements. Gloushkov and Yoffe scored 83.520, almost identical to their previous day's tally of 83.400 in the technical routine, for a total of 166.920.
Their score was part of a greater pattern in which all 24 pairs received practically the same score for each round, with no more variation than a point or two. The only change in the entire standings between the two days was that Brazil and South Korea switched 12th and 13th places. Russia, China and Spain are the top three qualifiers for tomorrow's duet final.
Although they did not advance to the final, Gloushkov and Yoffe looked pleased at the end. "My personal feeling is that this is our most successful Olympiad so far, and I have experienced three of them," Gloushkov said yesterday. "We managed to feel the power of this event the way we should. We learned to take external factors that could bring you down and use them to our advantage. It was really fun despite the difficulty. We appeared 19th and it's hard, but I think the spectators were interested and loved it."
Gloushkov said she was not surprised by the score the pair received from the judges. She said when one knows the rules of the game in depth one can understand that it's hard to fight "this unequal battle." She said she was happy with the reactions of her mother and her coach, who also agreed that this routine was the best the duo has performed so far. "I don't know if we'll participate in Rio, but we'll think about it seriously," she added.
"We came here with a different level of maturity and experience, and we finally internalized how great the whole thing is," said Yoffe. "Once we felt pressured by the number of people, but now it strengthens us and I really enjoyed myself."
The only other Israelis who competed today were sailors Gidi Kliger and Eran Sela in the 470. They finished fifth in their seventh race and 12th in the eighth race, and are now ranked 11th overall. (Steve Klein contributed to this report. )
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