Japan's synchro queens are great shakes
Japan's Miya Tachibana and Miho Takeda were determined that not even a severe attack of nerves would deter them from sweeping to victory at the Asian Games.india Updated: Jun 09, 2006 13:26 IST
Japan's Miya Tachibana and Miho Takeda, the first ever synchronised swimming world champions from Asia, were determined that not even a severe attack of nerves would deter them from sweeping to victory at the Asian Games.
Two weeks after battling past their rivals at the World Cup in Zurich, they insisted that nothing would stop them from putting on a glittering show here.
"I swam as hard as I could and my legs started to tremble," said 27-year-old Tachibana who won the duet title for the second straight time with Takeda, two years her junior.
"With my experience in so many competitions, I may feel at ease at times. But it was not easy at all," said Tachibana who also won the solo title which added to her solo bronze from the world championships last year.
"My legs began giving in at the halfway stage. There was an awful lot of lactic acid inside but I competed with sheer guts," said the 1.7m (5ft8) Japanese.
The pair, who also won the silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, collected 196.833 points, far ahead of the 189.833 for China's Gu Bei Bei and Zhang Xiao Huan and 189.000 for South Korea's Jang Yoon-Kyung and Kim Min-Jeong.
Masako Kaneko, the synchronised swimming director at the Japanese swimming federation, said it was vital that the pair succeeded.
"It is important that the world's number-one from Asia is Asia's number-one," she said.
Tachibana also won the Asiad duet title with Fumiko Okuno at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games before teaming up with Takeda in 1997. The duo, from the ancient city of Kyoto, battled formidable Russians to reach the top of the world last year.
However, they may have a way to go before consolidating their reign as they narrowly lost to Russia's Anatasia Ermakova and Anatasia Davydova at the World Cup.