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Synchronized swimming presents a “brave new world”

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Synchronized swimming presents a “brave new world”
Synchronized swimming presents a “brave new world
2023-06-06 15:38:05.0 Source: Xinhuanet
Author: Zhou Xin Li Jia

On the evening of the 4th, Spanish time, the 2023 FINA Synchronized Swimming World Cup Super Finals came to an end. The gold medals in 10 events were divided among 5 teams, and 10 teams received medals. The host Spanish team even won 4 gold medals and 4 silver medals. The medal topped the medal table.

In 2023, new rules for synchronized swimming events will be launched. From the standardization of movement difficulty to the scoring system, it has been “changing”. The movement is more difficult and the competition is more accidental. The “brave new world” where a hundred flowers are blooming like this is unprecedented. This may become The new normal in synchronized swimming.

Synchronized swimming new rules “variation”

On October 6, 2022, the then FINA (later renamed the World Swimming Federation) held a technical conference in the form of an online meeting and introduced a series of new rules, involving swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, high diving and open water Among the six major events, synchronized swimming has carried out “disruptive reforms”: mathematical values ​​and formulas are used to calculate the difficulty of movements, male players are allowed to participate in group competitions, new competition items are set up, and difficulty score cards need to be declared before the competition. To sum it up in the words of the coaching staff of the Chinese team, “the era of synchronized swimming that can be arranged as you like and ‘looks beautiful’ is over.”

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Where are the changes in the new rules? What are the challenges?

Zhang Xiaohuan, the head coach of the Chinese team, said: “We must understand and ‘understand’ the new rules, and combine the athletes’ own characteristics and actual abilities to create the most difficult and aesthetically pleasing movements. This poses a challenge to our arrangement and design difficulty The demands have never been higher, and the coaches need to have ‘super brains’ to calculate the score.”

To this end, the national team led coaches and referees at all levels in the Chinese flower game industry to conduct a study and seminar on the rules that lasted nearly two months. From mid-March, the national team sent different lineups and players to participate in some events of the World Cup sub-station to test the new rules.

Through the World Cup sub-stations and the finals, Zhang Xiaohuan has a clearer understanding of the new rules: “The difficulty score we designed, created and declared must be completed in the competition. Once an action fails to meet the specified requirements, it may As a result, a series of difficulty scores were lowered back to the benchmark score, and the contingency and difficulty of the game were greatly improved.”

The Ukrainian women’s doubles team won the medal in the first leg of the World Cup, but failed to win the championship because the difficulty score declared at the time was not high; so they challenged the high difficulty in the second leg, but unfortunately their performance was flawed, and their ranking dropped to 19th .

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In addition, submitting the action difficulty declaration card four hours before the game is also like a “spy war”: each team is “spying on the military situation” and making temporary changes at the moment the difficulty declaration card is handed in, which leads to the action of each team when they start the game. It’s all different from pre-match training. The Chinese team was still changing their movements six hours before participating in the group technical optional competition in France. Shi Haoyu and Cheng Wentao’s mixed doubles free optional movements that won the championship in the finals were also modified before the game that day.

The Chinese team took the initiative to attack “Chong Chong Chong”

“The new rules have brought about new changes, and the world structure of synchronized swimming has also been rewritten. We must strive to occupy a better position during the turbulent period, demonstrate China‘s strength, and leave a deep impression of China in the minds of referees, opponents and audiences.” Zhang Xiaohuan said.

The change in synchronized swimming is that from 2023, the World Cup sub-station and the super final will be set up for the first time. The Chinese team sent different lineups and athletes to participate in some events of the first three races, bringing back 7 gold and 1 bronze in total.

In the World Cup finals, the Chinese team originally only met the points standard for the mixed doubles event, but for the World Championships and the Paris Olympics training, the Chinese team decided to be invited as a foreign card to participate in the competition of the two group events, and the results of the competition will not be included in the medal statistics. In the end, the Chinese team’s “Fast and Furious”-themed program ranked first in the collective skill self-selection competition, and the collective skill self-selection competition with the theme of “Light of Life” was second only to the Ukrainian team, with a gap of only 0.5801 points.

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“We need to participate in the finals to test the works and the athletes’ on-the-spot performance. After all, the new rules are still being revised and changed. The athletes’ fear of making mistakes can only be eliminated by personal experience. Facts have proved that they are selfless on the field. I tried my best to achieve the goal of training for the World Championships and the Paris Olympics.” Zhang Xiaohuan said.

From July 14th to 30th, the World Swimming Championships will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, which is an important qualifying event leading to the Paris Olympics.

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