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Russia sweeps synchro swimming gold again

Beijing, China (Sports Network) - Russia's Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova bolstered their country to a third successive sweep of the Olympic synchronized swimming gold medals by winning the team event on Saturday.

It's the second straight Olympics in which Davydova and Ermakova have won double-gold. They won the duet competition earlier this week.

"We were striving for it together, to be higher than everybody," said Tatyana Pokrovskaya, Russia's coach. "It was really difficult, but we are all really happy."

The final of the team free routine though was marred by the collapse of a Japanese swimmer at the side of the pool. Hiromi Kobayashi was carried off on a stretcher after Japan's routine. Afterward, Japanese team official said Kobayashi was hyperventilating at the end of the routine.

"What happened to her was too much breathing, apparently," said Hiroshi Takeuchi, a representative of Japan's synchronized swimming team. "This kind of thing has happened before. She is a very nervous athlete. She is back to consciousness."

The Russian eight received perfect marks of 10 from four of the five judges on both technical merit and artistic impression.

The Russians finished with a total of 99.5 points between the technical and free routines to end the event 1.249 points ahead of Spain. China, with 97.334 points, won the bronze medal.

Canada was fourth and the United States finished in a tie with Japan for fifth.

08/23 05:49:32 ET

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