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Olympic artistic swimming at Tokyo 2020: Top five things to know

Your one-stop guide to swimming at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021, including top athletes, venue information, schedule, and more!
By Andrew Binner

Artistic swimming is a blend of artistry and athleticism.

It will feature 104 athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021, and is one of two women's-only events alongside rhythmic gymnastics.

Swimmers wear flamboyant uniforms, perform their routines to music, and can't touch the sides of the bottom of the pool.

Below, we take a look at the athletes expected to light up the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, the competition schedule, and even some Olympic history in our top things to know about Olympic artistic swimming guide.

Top Olympic artistic swimmers at Tokyo 2020

Russian swimmers won nine out of 10 gold medals at the 2019 world championships, and could be set for another dominant display at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Leading the ROC team will be five-time Olympic and 18-time world champion Svetlana Romashina, who is the joint greatest artistic swimmer in history.

Her new partner for these Games is Rio 2016 team gold medallist Svetlana Kolesnichenko, and the two world titles they won together in 2019 speak volumes of their ability.

China have also emerged as a powerhouse in artistic swimming, and Olympic silver medallists Huang Xuechen and Sun Wenyan lead the chasing pack behind the ROC team.

The one team to take gold off Russia at the world championships was Ukraine, who won the highlight routine team competition.

Although that particular event is not on the Olympic programme, the Eastern European nation - coached by the legendary Spaniard Anna Tarrés - have reached 6 podiums in the last world championships and will be hopeful of clinching their first Olympic medal in Tokyo. Keep an eye out for Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuck in the duet.

Olympic artistic swimming schedule at Tokyo 2020

All times are Japan Standard Time (GMT/UTC+9)

The competition will take place from 2 - 6 August 2021.

2 Aug 2021

19:30 - 21:30

  • Duet Free Routine Preliminary

3 Aug 2021

19:30 - 21:00

  • Duet Technical Routine

4 Aug 2021

19:30 - 21:00

  • Duet Free Routine Final
  • Duet Victory Ceremony

6 Aug 2021

19:30 - 21:00

  • Team Technical Routine

7 Aug 2021

19:30 - 21:10

  • Team Free Routine
  • Team Victory Ceremony

Olympic artistic swimming venue at Tokyo 2020

Artistic swimming will take place at the band new Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The state-of-the-art facility has a 15,000-spectator capacity, and is located in the Tatsumi-no-Mori Seaside Park.

It will also host diving and swimming at the Olympics in 2021.

Olympic artistic swimming competition format at Tokyo 2020

There will be two competitions at Tokyo 2020, including the duet (two athletes) and team (eight).

Swimmers in both events complete a “free” routine and a “technical” routine, with judges scoring them from 0-100 on their synchronisation, difficulty, technique and choreography. The duet and team combined final scores determine the winner.

Olympic artistic swimming history

Artistic swimming, known as synchronised swimming until 2017, has been on the Olympic programme since the Los Angeles 1984 Games.

But its name isn’t the only thing that has changed. Initially, the two events were solo (one performer) and the duet (two). A team event (eight) debuted at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, replacing the other two events, before the duet returned alongside the team for Sydney 2000.

Russian duets and teams have dominated this sport in recent memory with a total of 10 gold medals, including every team and duet title since Sydney 2000.

With five gold medals each, Svetlana Romashina, Anastasia Davydova and Natalia Ishchenko are the three most successful artistic swimmers ever.

While Romashina will look to add to that tally at Tokyo 2020, the latter two have retired from competition.