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Synchro pumps up the volume

14 Mar 06 05:28
Synchronised Swimmer Irena Olevsky and partner in action in the pool

Silver medallist Irena Olevsky (back) has come out of retirement to accompany Australian Dannielle Liesch in the Synchronised Swimming.

Not only will this year's Commonwealth Games Synchronised Swimming competition impress the sell-out crowd, it will also rock the decibel levels like never before.

The council's noise limit will be pushed during the two days of competition, as it was when the sounds of Puccini’s 'O Mio Bambino Caro' accompanied Australian Dannielle Liesch during a pre-Games warm-up session at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Liesch, who runs the swimming school at the centre, says the volume and style of the music can have a strong effect on a routine.

“(The officials) want to make it quieter, which can change the whole dynamic of the routine. But it is a residential area and it’s about respecting everybody’s wishes," she said.

The combination of training for up to six hours a day, vibrant music, costumes, make-up, and “pegs” on swimmers’ noses all create an immensely popular sport. The demand for tickets for the event at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games far outweighed supply.

“Synchro has a much bigger and better profile than it used to have,” said 27-year old Liesch.

“Some of the audience are probably gymnasts, and (there’s) probably a lot of females, too, who think it’s great to have a sport that’s athletic but still feminine.”

Liesch and her Russian-born team mate Irena Olevsky, a silver medallist in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, have both come out of retirement for the Melbourne Games. They're keen to to take on the Canadians, who have won every solo and duet gold medal since the event’s Games inclusion in the mid-1980s, and have promised to raise the roof with their performance.

The team’s reserve is 18 year old Ukraine-born Luda Plotnikova.

The Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Synchronised Swimming competition will be held on 18-19 March at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. 

For more information on Aquatic events, visit the Aquatics Diving and the Aquatics Swimming sections of this Website.

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