Budapest 2022: Inui Wins Japan’s First-Ever Gold Medal in Solo Artistic Swimming

2022 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Yukiko Inui made history on Saturday by winning Japan’s first-ever gold medal in a solo artistic swimming event at a World Championships. She earned Japan’s first medal of the 2022 World Championships in Budapest in the women’s solo technical, an event she won bronze in at this meet in 2019.

Inui told FINA, “This gold medal means a lot for me so I am very happy.” She said she is aiming to win another gold medal in her home country when the World Championships come to Fukuoka, Japan in 2023.

Japan has also won three silver medals so far in Budapest: one in the women’s team technical, one in the women’s team free combination, and one in the mixed duet technical performed by Yotaro Sato and Tomoka Sato. This places Japan second on the medal table.

After winning two gold medals and one bronze so far, China is in the lead medal-wise for artistic swimming in Budapest. Twin sisters Liuyi Wang and Qianyi Wang won their first medal on Sunday in the women’s duet technical event. Qianyi was part of China’s silver medal-winning team performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

China kept their momentum going in Budapest by taking home gold in the women’s team technical on Tuesday.

Russia’s absence from the 2022 World Championships has had a huge impact on artistic swimming. FINA banned Russia and Belarus from Worlds this year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. At the 2019 World Championships in Gwanju, the Russian Federation competed in nine synchronized swimming events and swept gold medals in all of them. They didn’t compete in the women’s team highlight, where Ukraine won gold which was enough to place Ukraine in 2nd on the medal table.

Without the defending champions in Budapest, the five gold medals are now spread out between China, Japan, Ukraine, and Italy, making for a much more competitive medal race than usual.

Ukraine won the women’s team free combo to earn their first gold medal. Marta Fiedina, who won silver in the women’s solo technical, told FINA, “I’m so happy, I’m happy to be here in Budapest. And happy with my results because in the last Worlds I was fourth and now I’m second … I will try to show more in the free solo.” Fiedina helped Ukraine win two bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics in the duet and team events.

Italy’s Giorgio Minisini and Lucrezia Ruggiero won the mixed duet technical event to help place their country in 4th on the medal table so far.

Medal Table Through Day Five

*The medal table in this post is ranked by gold medal totals, then silver medal totals, then bronze medal totals

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 2 0 1 3
2 Japan 1 3 0 4
3 Ukraine 1 2 0 3
4 Italy 1 0 2 3
5 Austria 0 0 1 1
5 Greece 0 0 1 1

 

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Swimmerfromjapananduk
12 days ago

At least we’re winning something in Budapest

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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