Live Commentary: Olympic synchronised swimming - day nine as it happened

Live Commentary: Olympic synchronised swimming - day nine as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live updates from the opening day of the Olympic synchronised swimming.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary from the opening day of the Olympic synchronised swimming.

London's stunning Aquatics Centre plays host to the technical routine stage of the women's duets, and Team GB's Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici are in full swing.

The duo, who competed together in Beijing 2008, are in for a tough test against the likes of Russia, the United States, Canada, and Japan, who have all found success in this event in recent years.

Russia's Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina are the ones to watch today, with their country having won a record six gold medals in the event since it was give competitive status in 1984.

5.00pmThat's all from me here today. Join us tomorrow for all the action from the free routine.

4.59pmSo to summarise, Russia ends the technical routine on top with a score of 98.2, China are second with 96.1, and Spain are in third on 96.00. Team GB are in ninth as its stands with a score of 88.1, leaving them a strong chance of making the top 12 after tomorrow's free routine.

4.59pmA 93.2 for Japan! That leaves them in fifth.

4.57pmThey pull off a dramatic finish, and that will likely leave them in the top five.

4.55pmYukiko Inui and Chisa Kobayashi are businesslike and precise as they glide around the pool to the 'The Queen of the Night' aria.

4.54pmJapan are up now. They are one of the pre-tournament favourites.

4.52pmTheir execution was untidy at times, which leaves them with 83.4. The final will be a big ask for them I think.

4.49pmAnastasia Gloushkov and Inna Yoffe of Israel make some interesting shapes in the water during their routine. It's a speedy repertoire with creative choreography.

4.48pmA score of 96.1, and they replace Spain in second. Russia remain in the lead.

4.45pmHuang Xuechen and Liu Ou didn't exactly look lethal, but that was a really strong performance full of speedy twists and sharp kicks. That should put them near the business end of the table.

4.44pmChina are up now, and they will be performing a kung-fu routine in the water. This should be good!

4.42pmPerfect unison from them on a challenging routine choreographed by one of the Cirque du Soleil masterminds. The judges award 87.70.

4.39pmHere comes the ever colourful French. Sara Labrousse and Chloe Willhelm have brought a lot of support with them based on the crowd reception.

4.38pmThe judges say 88.10 putting them into seventh ahead of the US. That puts them in a strong position ahead of the free routine round.

4.35pmIt's a much speedier version of the piece, and the Britons are revelling in the pace and rhythm, pulling off sharp kicks and smooth twists.

4.34pmThey are swimming to 'In the Hall of the Mountain King'. Which classical music enthusiasts will know only too well, and everyone else will recognise from the Alton Towers TV ads.

4.33pm81.2 for them, and Federici and Randall of Team GB are up now. You may recognise Randall from marketing campaigns for Braun and Kelloggs.

4.31pmPamela Fischer and Anja Nyffeler were creative in their execution, but their timing was off. Their synchronisation score will be down a touch. They selected a very complex beat to swim to.

4.29pmThe Swiss are up next, then it's our Team GB duo.

4.29pmThe judges say 77.4. That is only good for 17th place making qualification a big ask for them.

4.26pmEloise Amberger and Sarah Bombell of Australia's repertoire has a samba favour to it. A good performance despite them faltering on a few of the spins.

4.23pmAn incredible performance from the Russians there. Rich in creativity, precision and artistry. Svetlana Romashina and Natalia Ishchenko earn a whopping 98.2! That puts them into a comfortable lead. It's a bit early to be hanging gold medals around their necks, but you'd be a fool to bet against them making the podium.

4.20pm87.1 for them, ranking them seventh in the contest, but the big guns are about to step up.

4.17pmAn energised and expressive performance from them. They lacked speed on the twirls. Let's see how generous the judging panel is willing to be.

4.15pmNayara Figueira and Lara Teixeira of Brazil wouldn't look out of place at the Rio Carnival in those flamboyant colours. A jangly piano piece from Franz Liszt backs them.

4.13pmThey glide through in unison for a score 78.9. A place in the final isn't impossible, but they have their work cut out getting there.

4.13pmThey glide through in unison for a score 78.9. A place in the final isn't impossible, but they have their work cut out getting there.

4.10pmArgentina's glitter-covered twins Etel and Sofia Sanchez takes to the water backed by a tango number.

4.10pm84.4 for them. They were marked down for losing execution at the death there.

4.08pmA great performance from them. They should receive a high score for that, providing the judges didn't spot how tired they looked at the end there.

4.06pmAnother staggeringly fast routine to an upbeat piano piece. They power through, occasionally stopping to strike dramatic poses.

4.05pmHere come the North Koreans. Does somebody want to make sure the correct flag is flying?

4.03pmThat earns them 85.8. We think they should have added a few points on for those brilliant costumes, which have sun emblems on them surrounded by all the colours of the rainbow.

4.00pmThe Czechs are up now. Can they bounce into the final? Sona Bernardova and Alzbeta Dufkova have been smooth and steady so far.

3.59pmThe Mexicans earn 83.0 for their effort, putting them into ninth place.

3.54pm94.5 for them! That puts them in second.

3.53pmA thunderous performance from Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon and Elise Marcotte. They were a little close together at one stage, but that should rack up a good score.

3.50pmThe Canadians are up now, and they've broken into a blisteringly fast repertoire. They doing really well to mirror each other at this pace.

3.48pmThey twist and turn with expert precision to it. They did well to remain in synch during some of those swift movements. The judges award 89.2, putting them in a strong position.

3.46pmEvangelia Platanioti and Despoina Solomou have chosen a piece of music was that probably rejected from the Eurovision Song Contest.

3.45pmSorry, I can't update you on the action at the moment. I've just been blinded by the Greek swimmers' costumes!

3.44pmIt's a good swim from them, mirroring each other all the way. That earns them 84.6, putting them in sixth and giving them a fighting chance at a spot in the final.

3.42pmAnna Kulkina and Aigerim Zhexembinova of Kazakhstan have chosen a piece by Hans Zimmer for their routine. It's not a patch on his work on the Dark Knight Rises soundtrack!

3.39pmGood execution from them. They looked like they were running out of steam towards the end, though. The judging panel says 79.4.

3.36pmEszter Czekus and Szofi Kiss of Hungary are performing to a number that sounds like an outtake from a Moby album.

3.36pmThe judges say 86.7, and that puts them up into fifth place.

3.35pmTheir movements were clean and controlled. They made it look effortless, which is a key sign that they are performing well.

3.33pmHyunha Park and Hyunsun Park show off their incredible flexibility poolside before entering the water and performing to a bizarre piece of music that sounds almost tribal in origin.

3.28pmTheir routine has a celtic flavour to it. It's full of sharp twirls, but they faltered on one or two of them. That doesn't reflect in their score of 90.7, though. They move into third.

3.27pmGiulia Lapi and Mariangela Perrupato of Italy are garbed in swimwear that looks like it's been dipped in that florescent paint that they use to paint signs in tunnels.

3.26pmA 76.7 for them overall. They have their work cut out now.

3.24pmIt was technically good, but felt rushed at times. This may reflect in their execution score.

3.22pmShaza Abdelrahman and Dalia Elgebaly of Egypt are performing with class and elegance to Ravel's Bolero. It's about time we heard a bit of classical here today.

3.21pm92.2! They must have done something right. That puts them into second behind Spain.

3.19pmIt's a synthy number that they spin through with huge elegance. They faltered on timing slightly. Let's see what the judges say...

3.17pmIt begins with thunderous drugs reminiscent of the intro to Dire Straits' 'Money for Nothing', but sadly it isn't that.

3.17pmHere come the Ukraine. This sounds like it's going to be a dramatic one!

3.14pmI was a strong performance, but it lacked the poise of their predecessors. The judges award them 82.00 overall, which ranks them below the US.

3.12pmNadine Brandl and Livia Lang have chosen a melodic number with prominent Spanish guitars to perform to. I think they deserve our sympathy having to follow that sublime performance from the Spaniards.

3.11pmThe Austrians strut their stuff poolside and their repertoire is under way.

3.10pmI think we can expect them to make the cut for the final. The judges award them a whopping 96.00 overall, raising the bar very high.

3.08pmThey're certainly flexible, and have interpreted the music well for this routine, remaining in near-perfect synchronisation throughout.

3.06pmOna Carbonell Ballestero and Andrea Fuentes Fache twist and turn to an obscure, drum-heavy piece of music.

3.06pmThe Spaniards are up now. This should be a good one as they took home silver in the last Games and are ranked third in the world.

3.03pmMary Killman (let's hope she doesn't live up to her name) and Mariya Koroleva of the US get us under way with their routine, swimming to 'Think' by Aretha Franklin. The judges struggle to find much wrong with it, and award them 87.9 overall.

2.58pmTheatrics and glamour may be a big part of this sport, but make no mistake, these are highly trained athletes. A staggering amount of endurance is required to compete as a synchronised swimmer.

2.56pm24 pairs of swimmers will attempt to impress the judges with their skill and artistic prowess in the pool. The points accumulated today will be carried over to tomorrow's free routine, and the top 12 will then progress to the final.

2.53pmRussia have been a dominant force in this event since it became competitive in 1984, but the US, Canada and Japan have also been tipped as favourites based on past performances.

2.52pmThe pair joined forces for the same event in Beijing 2008, where they came in 14th place. They made it to ninth in the world championships last year, so they're certainly moving in the right direction.

2.50pmTeam GB's Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici will team up for the women's duets qualification technical routine in just a moment.

2.48pmGood afternoon and welcome to our live text coverage from the opening day of the Olympic synchronised swimming.

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