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Russian Synchronized Swimming Duo Maintains 26-Year Olympic Gold Streak

Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina won synchronized swimming duets gold, maintaining a 26-year Russian winning streak.

Russian stars Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina won gold in the synchronized swimming duets competition at the Rio Olympics on August 16, keeping alive Russia's 26-year track record of going unbeaten in the event.

"Psychologically, it is very hard because we understand that a victory is always expected from us," Ishchenko said afterwards. "We are always being watched so we have to be three heads higher than the rest of the field."

The pair, which scored a total of 194.991 points, performed a mermaid-inspired free routine. Ishchenko noted that they are like mermaids because they "spend more time in the water than on dry land."

China's Huang Xuechen and Sun Wenyan came in second with 192.3688 points to take silver, while Japan's Yukiko Inui and Risako Mitsui won bronze with 188.0547 points.

Russia hopes to secure its fifth Olympic title also in the synchronized swimming team final, which takes place on August 19.

The duets competition took place in clear blue water, after the water in the pool - which had been plagued for days by an unusual green colour - was replaced.

"At last this is real water," Ishchenko said.

Based on reporting by dpa, AP, and Reuters