Submitted by Lori Eaton
McKinney native Mary Killman of Team USA scored an 87.300 to finish 10th in synchronized swimming’s solo technical routine final at the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday. The 10th position marks a one-place improvement over Killman’s finish at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai.
Killman, who swims to Etta James’ “At Last,” faced tough competition from a field that included five finalists from the 2011 Worlds. Killman earned an 88.100 in the Solo Technical preliminary earlier in the day to qualify for the final in 9th place.
“I had a lot more energy tonight than I had this morning,” Killman said. “I was able to go out, do what came naturally and enjoy this swim versus having to think too hard about it.”
The tech routine final marks the end of a long 2013 season for Killman. She won the solo title at both the U.S. National and U.S. Collegiate Championships while swimming for Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., and less than a week ago competed in the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia. Killman now has nine weeks off before the start of the collegiate season – her longest break since the Summer of 2010.
“Mary is an amazingly powerful and emotional swimmer. Her height out of the water and artistic expression are unparalleled,” coach Lori Eaton said. “There’s a lot of new talent in our sport at the world level, and Mary proved she deserves to be among those top 10. No one in the U.S. can touch her, and I look forward to her continued improvement over the next three years at Lindenwood.”
The synchronized swimming competitions in Barcelona feature athletes from 43 nations swimming in a temporary pool inside the historic Palau St. Jordi arena, site of the 1992 Olympic Games’ gymnastics and volleyball competitions.
LU is represented by three athletes at the World Championships. Along with Killman, Reem Abdalazem (EGY) and Anouk Eman (ARU), both gold medalists from the U.S. National Championships, are competing for their home countries. Abdalazem finished 19th and Eman 26th in the Solo Technical Preliminary event earlier in the day. Abdalazem will compete in the Solo Free Routine on Monday, while Eman will compete in the Duet Technical Routine on Sunday, and Duet Free Routine on Tuesday.
For the first time at the World Championships, the top 16 routines advance to the final. In previous years, only 12 have advanced. The new procedures are being tested in advance of a rule proposal by FINA to allow 16 routines to the final in the Olympic Games.
Russia’s Svetlana Romashina finished first in the Tech Solo Final with a score of 96.800 followed by China’s Huang Xuechen at 95.500.
Competition continues Sunday with the Duet Technical Routine Preliminary at 9 a.m. (2 a.m. CT) followed by the Duet Technical Routine Final at 7 p.m. (Noon CT).
Complete results can be found at www.bcn2013.com.