GWANGJU, South Korea, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Reigning champion China had to settle for the second place in team free combination preliminaries at 2019 FINA World Championships here on Thursday.
China presented their ace show with four breathtaking big lift-ups. The height and difficulty of their movements gained applause from the audience inside the Yeomju Gym, but were not enough to overcome a 0.5667 point deficit with leaders Russia.
"We compressed our show from four and a half minutes into four minutes, so our new show is more intensive and difficult than ever," said head coach Wang Jie.
Wang also praised the overall performance of the team.
"Our ladies did a great job in their strength and stability, but I think that we can improve more on the speed to cover the water more widely," said Wang.
"Our team is almost the same as the one we had back in 2017, so it was not that difficult for us to get synchronized," said Chinese swimmer Feng Yu. "We just need to be more powerful in the final," Yu added.
Russia didn't attend the free combination event in 2017, and they snatched 96.5667 points earlier on Thursday.