Synchronised Swimming is a very strenuous and skillful sport where competitors need strength and flexibility to perform routines to music in the water. Synchronised Swimming is open to both male and female athletes but it is a sport dominated by women, mainly because the Olympic and World Championship competitions are not open to men.
Athletes perform routines that can be anything from two and a half minutes to five minutes long, depending on whether they perform alone or part of a team. The routines are made up of certain movements that are performed using certain basic positions. Approximately two thirds of a synchronized swimming routine is performed under water.
There are four main categories of competition within Synchronised Swimming:
Solos (where an individual swimmer will synchronise with the music).
Duets (where a swimmer co-ordinates with their partner and in time to the music).
Teams (where the swimmer co-ordinates with up to seven other athletes and in time to the music).
Combo (a team routine where up to ten swimmers perform in one continuous routine but during the routine there will be segments where different numbers of swimmers will perform.
Teams normally contain eight swimmers, but the minimum number for a team is four. Currently, only the duet and team competitions are included in the Olympic Games (although the Solo competition featured in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics)
In most senior competitions, swimmers will perform two routines for the judges, one technical and one free. The technical routine involves performing predetermined elements that must be executed in a specific order. The free routine has no requirements so the swimmers can be ‘free’ in how creative they get with the movements and their choreography.
There are also competitions called ‘Figures’ for junior swimmers where they perform set movements to the judges. There is no music and this is simply a case of how well the individual performs the movements.
Positions and movements.
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