Tomoaki Tasaka, FINA Press Correspondent in Japan

The Highlight Routine was the penultimate event of the 4th leg of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2019 in Tokyo, Japan, as 4 countries presented various acrobatic moves like lifts, jumps and throws.

Japan excelled in this event and won the gold medal by a narrow margin. The team earned 92.0000 points, for their routine which set in ‘Dinosaur’ era.

Under the theme ‘Australian Hard Rock’ Spain secured the silver medal with 91.6333, as they performed vigorously in front of the audience. The bronze was attributed to Canada with 88.4333 points.

World’s most distinguished soloists performed their best in the Solo event but Japanese soloist Yukiko Inui was the winner today with her forceful expression. She got 93.4667 for her Solo Free routine.

“I'm glad I was able to score over 93 points, what I had targeted last year. I feel that I could get a grip on this programme. To compete in this competition where top artistic swimmers came to participate was a great experience for me and Team Japan as well. It also made me confident for the rest of the season,” Inui said.

The second place went to Italy's Linda Cerruti with 91.1000. Jacqueline Simoneau (CAN) secured the bronze with 90.2000.

“I am happy with this result though I was tired since the last leg in Kazan. I am going to take part in the Italian Championships next month so I would like to improve my scores,” Cerruti said.

The Free Combination marked the grand finale of this Tokyo leg.

As it is often the case in the Free Combination, every team changed the formation many times and rapidly. Japan performed under the theme ‘Mermaid’ to earn the gold with 92.3000 points, showing grace, allure and fun for four minutes. Japan made a clean sweep of all the events for the closing day.

Yoshida, partner of soloist Inui, said:

”It was a competition in which I could find both good and bad. I have noticed some things to be improved still but I am also confident for the World Championships in Gwangju, Korea” Yoshida said.

The silver went to China, led by twin sisters Jiang Wenwen and Tingting, with 88.6333 points. Using effectively the length of their bodies, they showed the elegance with slow tempo and the intensity with up-tempo. Korea got the bronze with 79.0667.

After finishing all the events, The Gala was hold with 10 participating countries.

The three-day Tokyo leg for from April 27-29 has now concluded and the athletes will next travel to Beijing (CHN) from May 4-5 for the fifth leg.