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The Greek Mermaid of Synchronized Swimming is Headed to Tokyo

Greek synchronised swimmer
Evangelia Platanioti striking a stunning pose underwater with a Greek flag. Credit: Instagram/@Evangelia.plat

Greek synchronized swimmer Evangelia Platanioti helped Greece reach new heights in the sport when she won two medals at the European Aquatics Championships on Saturday.

The 35th annual European Aquatics Championships were originally to occur in 2020, but were postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Greek synchronized swimmer

Platanioti’s incredible underwater dance brought her success at the championships, and she was able to put a feather in Greece’s cap by winning two medals in distinct categories.

The talented athlete was able to win a bronze medal for her solo free routine as well as a silver medal for her solo technical routine.

Platanioti is not the only reason Greece has to be proud of its synchronized swimmers, as the Greek team also won a silver medal for their combination routine. These amazing accomplishments led to Greece ranking fourth overall in artistic swimming.

Greece has not won a medal in synchronized swimming since 2016, which makes the efforts of Platanioti and the rest of the team even more impressive. Platanioti is also the first Greek woman to win two medals in a singular European Aquatics Championship.

The artistic swimmer also often performs with her partner Evelina Papazoglou, another skilled Greek synchronized swimmer. Both athletes are part of bwin’s “Team Future”.

Bwin is an Austrian online betting platform which is very active in Greek sports. As part of the “bwin cares” program, the company funds clubs, tournaments and individual athletes.

Bwin Team Future is the company’s initiative which sponsors the next generation of Olympic athletes. It currently supports 18 young athletes, including Platanioti and Papazoglou, who are both preparing for the  upcoming Tokyo Olympics which are scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.

Platanioti is no stranger to high achievements within her sport. She has also competed in women’s duet synchronized swimming in the 2012 London Olympics. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she competed in women’s duet with her current partner, Papazoglou, where they finished in 10th place.

European Aquatic Championships

The European Aquatic Championships were held in Budapest, Hungary this year. At the competition, synchronized swimming routines are expected to last anywhere from two to four minutes. The swimmers are able to hear the music to which they perform through underwater speakers, in order to be able to perform on beat.

Free routines, where Platanioti struck bronze, allow swimmers to have much more creative freedom when it comes to choreography and music choice.

There are three 5-member panels of judges which judge every routine, scoring swimmers with a high score of 10. The first panel grades execution and synchronization, the second scores artistic impression (choreography, music interpretation and manner of presentation) and the third scores difficulty in free routines and required elements in technical routines.

Athletes are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool no matter what, but particularly when lifting others.

Synchronized swimming is at an extremely high level in Russia; consequently, Russian swimmers win almost every single competition they enter. Russian duet performers have not lost a competition in the last 20 years.

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