All work and no play for 'Phelps in skirt'
Dubbed "Phelps in a skirt", synchronised swimming icon Natalia Ishchenko is the undisputed queen of her sport but the Russian says her grace under pressure is all down to simple hard work.other Updated: Jul 19, 2011 23:01 IST
Dubbed "Phelps in a skirt", synchronised swimming icon Natalia Ishchenko is the undisputed queen of her sport but the Russian says her grace under pressure is all down to simple hard work.
Ishchenko's win in Monday's duet technical routine gave the 25-year-old her 13th gold of a record-breaking world championships career, and she is not finished yet with more events to come in Shanghai.
On Sunday, the glamorous blonde stole the show at Shanghai's Oriental Sports Centre as she earned a near-perfect score of 98.300 in the solo technical routine, claiming her third straight world title in the event.
The superlative victory saw Ishchenko surpass compatriot Anastasia Davydova to become the world aquatics championships' most successful synchronised swimmer since competition began nearly four decades ago in 1973.
"I have no secret to maintain the top position. The secret is our coach plus hard work," said Ishchenko. "I like the sport. We will participate in the Olympic Games. We will work but we can't say the goal."
Monday's victory meant Russia remain unbeaten in the event for the fifth consecutive edition of the worlds. But despite her domination, Ishchenko brushed aside any thoughts that she was getting used to success.
"Every medal for us is significant and in our heart we all have an ideal image and we always try to get better results and get closer to the ideal as possible," she said.
Ishchenko's success shows that the Russians remain the team to beat in synchro despite the strength of the Spanish and the fast-rising Chinese.