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Twins Makes Breakthrough for Synchronized Swimming
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Twin sisters Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen brought the Chinese synchronized swimming into a new level with their fourth place in the duet technical routine in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen came to Melbourne with their newly collected title from the Doha Asian Games last December.

In their first duet show at the World Championships, the 20-year-old twin finished fourth with 96.333 points in the preliminary on Saturday and kept the same spot in the final on Tuesday with 96.000 points.

"We have pulled out all the stops," said Jiang Wenwen, "we even skipped the lunch for training today."

It was the best result that the Chinese synchronized swimming team achieved at World Championships and Olympic Games.

In the two major competitions, China had never been ranked higher than sixth either in the duet or in the team event.

But the sisters still had some regrets for the final. "We performed not bad," said Jiang Wenwen, "But we played better in the preliminary.

"While doing a compulsory movement in the final, my leg shook a little."

The Chinese team's head coach Masayo Imura also felt regretful for her swimmers. "They should have performed better. I didn't set any goal for them before the competition. I just hope that they could show themselves well."

Being famed as the "godmother" of the Japanese synchronized swimming, Imura signed a contract with the Chinese team after the Doha Asian Games where China unheraldedly dethroned long-time Asian No. 1 Japan in both team and duet events.

"Their personalities and bodyshapes are as excellent as those world-class synchronized swimmers," Imura talked about the twin. "But they lack of strength. Meanwhile, they need to improve their skills."

Imura admitted that the duo still need to make progresses so as to catch up swimmers from the traditional powerhouses Russia, Japan and Spain. But Jiang Wenwen is confident that one day they will among the best.

"Our aim is to get closer to the Russian swimmers," said Jiang Wenwen, "We will try our best for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Game and I believe that we have the potentials to be among the best."

(Xinhua News Agency March 21, 2007)

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