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China's teenager Xu wins 3rd gold at Artistic Swimming World Cup

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-06 21:48
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(L-R) Silver medallists Isabel Cui of Spain, Gold medalist Xu Huiyan of China and Bronze medalist Marloes Steenbeek of the Netherlands pose during the victory ceremony for the Women's Solo Free final on day two of the World Aquatics Artistic Swimming World Cup Beijing 2024 at the National Aquatic Center in Beijing. [Photo/VCG]

BEIJING -- Eighteen-year-old Xu Huiyan of China clinched her third gold at the World Aquatics Artistic Swimming World Cup after winning the women's solo free title here on Saturday.

"The three gold medals really inspire me to forge ahead. I keep improving myself through world-level events this year. For the women's duet free event tomorrow, I will try my best to concentrate on the rhythm and cooperate with my partner," said Xu, who won the women's solo technical and the team technical titles on Friday.

Xu secured the women's solo free crown with an outstanding performance, 33.5188 points ahead of the runner-up Isabel Cui of Spain, while Marloes Steenbeek of the Netherlands took the bronze.

"I started practicing artistic swimming since the age of eight, from about three hours a week at the beginning to three hours a day gradually. I was excited to show myself in the Olympic venue Water Cube. My relatives in China also came to cheer for me," said Cui, born in Spain, whose parents are both Chinese.

In the team free, the only event with the participation of the hosts' top swimmers at the World Cup in Beijing, China eased past Australia to pocket the gold with 343.3479 points.

Wang Liuyi of China, 27, noted, "The World Cup is an important step towards the Paris Olympics. Our team performed great today. As an experienced athlete, I also encouraged our young swimmers to train hard and get prepared for the following events."

Chinese pair Lin Yanhan and Lin Yanjun triumphed in the women's duet technical, while Spain and Slovakia seized the silver and bronze respectively.

Li Min, a coach of team China, was satisfied with the performance of the twins, "This is their first time to compete in such high-level events. We have achieved our goals for the World Cup. I believed they can do better technically and continue to make progress in the future."

Filippo Pelati of Italy grabbed the gold in the men's solo free. Spain's Jordi Caceres Iglesias and Viktor Druzin of Kazakhstan finished the second and third respectively.

About 100 elite artistic swimmers from 14 teams all over the world are competing in the 11 events. China has bagged six out of the eight golds on offer at the World Cup so far.

The last competition day will see the women's duet free, mixed duet free and team acrobatic on Sunday.

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