China secures artistic swimming team gold, Olympic berth at Hangzhou Asiad
China won the team gold medal in artistic swimming after ranking first in the team free routine on Sunday. The hosts grabbed both the two artistic swimming gold as they also claimed duet title on Saturday.
China claimed the team gold with a combined score of 868.9676 after leading the free routine with 341.4875. Japan scored a total of 831.2535 to take the silver. Kazakhstan came third with a distant 663.7417.
"We are happy to win the gold medal at home and qualify for the Paris Games," said swimmer Feng Yu. "But we still have a lot of things to improve."
This is the first Asian Games where male artistic swimmers are allowed to compete. Teams can have up to two male members, though there are only two in total competing in Hangzhou: China's Shi Haoyu and Thailand's Kantinan Adisaisiributr. Shi, mixed duet free world champion at the Fukuoka worlds, took part in the acrobatic routine on Friday which China also came first.
"Shi has joined the team for several months and we made good cooperation. We can trust him and he also gave us confidence," Feng added.
Male participants made their debut in the event at the 2015 FINA World Championships, and will be competing at the Olympics for the first time in Paris next year.
With the team and duet gold at the Asiad, China has earned the artistic swimming tickets for the Paris Games.
China's twin sisters Wang Qianyi and Wang Liuyi excelled to win the duet gold medal on Saturday. Their jungle-themed performance sent them to the top of the podium, cementing the fifth duet gold in a row for China at the Asian Games.
They used creative leg kicks and impressive throws in both their technical and free routines, both of which displayed the highest degrees of difficulty compared to other competitors.
They finished the competition with a combined score of 526.8620, more than 37 points ahead of silver medalists Mashiro Yasunaga and Moe Higa of Japan. Kazakhstan's Arina Pushkina and Yasmin Tuyakova took the bronze with a total of 418.6987.
"We have an advantage in that we look alike, and we move in similar ways because we grew up together," said Wang Qianyi. "My goal is to stand on the Olympic stage with my sister."