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Russians rule the synchro pool

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The best Synch Swimming images of Baku 2015

Synchronised Swimming | Best of Baku 2015
Russia compete in the Synchronised Swimming Teams final. Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: The Netherlands competes in the synchronised swimming free combination preliminary during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Switzerland compete in the Synchronised Swimming Free Combination quailification during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: The team from France competes in the synchronised swimming free combination preliminary during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 15: Ukraine perform in the Synchronised Swimming Teams Free Routine Final during day three of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 15, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 16: Netherlands compete in the Synchronised Swimming Teams Free Routine final during day four of the Baku 2015 European Games at Beach Arena on June 16, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 15: Yana Nariezhna and Yekaterina Valiulina of Ukraine compete in the Synchronised Swimming Duets Free Routine during day three of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 15, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Team France competes in the Synchronized Swimming Free Combination Preliminary during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 15: Defne Bakirci and Misra Gundes of Turkey compete in the Synchronised Swimming Duets Free Routine during day three of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 15, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 15: Giana Gkeorgkieva and Athanasia Tsola of Greece compete in the Synchronised Swimming Duets Free Routine during day three of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 15, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 15: Giana Gkeorgkieva and Athanasia Tsola of Greece compete in the Synchronised Swimming Duets Free Routine during day three of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 15, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 15: Italy perform in the Synchronised Swimming Teams Free Routine Final during day three of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 15, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 15: The Ukrainian team pose with their bronze medals won in the Synchronised Swimming Teams final during day three of the Baku 2015 European Games at Baku Aquatics Centre on June 15, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 16: Yelyzaveta Yakhno of Ukraine competes in the Synchronised Swimming Solo Final during day four of the Baku 2015 European Games at the Baku Aquatics Centre on June 16, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 16: Italy compete in the Synchronised Swimming Teams Free Routine final during day four of the Baku 2015 European Games at the Baku Aquatics Centre on June 16, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images for BEGOC)
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Monday's Synchronised Swimming medallists at Baku Aquatics Centre.  Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
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A review of Synchronised Swimming at the Baku 2015 European Games

Russia’s extraordinary young Synchronised Swimming team offered an unbeatable mix of artistry, elegance and athleticism at the Baku 2015 European Games to signal why they represent the future of the discipline.

While the Austrian team captured everyone’s hearts at the Baku Aquatics Centre over four days with their medal-winning courage, the 10-strong Russian squad elicited pure awe with their clean sweep of all four golds.

While no one team was able to even remotely dent their dominance, the quality of opposition, particularly from the other medal-winning nations of Spain, Austria and Ukraine, nevertheless prompted Russian synchro legend Anastasia Davydova to warn that the country's youngsters have to raise their game to stay ahead.

"We saw here that Russia are still dominant, but the Ukrainian and Spanish teams were very strong, with the Ukraine team doing very difficult acrobatic elements," said the five-time Olympic champion.

"We have used an acrobatics specialist - and we need one because we have to keep getting to a higher level. Things are different at world level with the Japanese and Chinese very strong at junior level too. We have to improve our level."

Solo champion Anisiya Neborako was the star of the show, while duets winners Valeriya Filenkova and Daria Kulagina took home three golds apiece after their part in the team and free combination events.

Of the Russian pursuers, Spain’s Berta Ferreras Sanz looked the most gifted, finishing with three silver medals and wooing the crowd with a delightful solo interpretation of 'I Dreamed a Dream'.

Beating Russia, though, could remain a pipe dream. "We are the best because we start very early when the girls are just four and, by the time they are nine, they can do everything in synchro," said Davydora.

"In Spain, they start when girls are eight or nine, and I think that is the problem for them."


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    Russians rule the synchro pool

    A review of Synchronised Swimming at the Baku 2015 European Games
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    Russia wins gold in duets free routine

    Valeriya Filenkova and Daria Kulagina take Synchronised Swimming title
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    Russians seek perfection in the pool

    Rivals seek to close the gap as Russia chase Baku clean sweep
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    Russian synchronised swimmers sparkle on day one

    Pre-tournament favourites score highly in duets and teams, with Ukraine and Spain close behind
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    Ukraine and Spain are Russia's main Synchro rivals

    Preview of the Baku 2015 Synchronised Swimming competition
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    Getting to know... Synchronised Swimming

    All you need to know about the first sport to take place at the inaugural European Games
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    Belarus synchro pair ready to start Baku 2015 with a splash

    Dominika Tsyplakova and Hanna Shulhina will make history as the first European Games athletes
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