Competing in the pool that will be the home of synchronized swimming during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the synchronized swimming duet of Anita Alvarez and Mariya Koroleva earned its spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.
Doubling as the Rio test event for synchronized swimming, the Olympic qualifying event mandated that the top 11 teams in the duet competition would earn Olympic berths. By virtue of their seventh-place finish, Alvarez and Koroleva did enough to secure their place.
After the technical routine on the first day of competition, Alvarez and Koroleva sat in seventh place with a score of 82.3821. In the free routine, they earned 85.2667 for another seventh place and an overall total of 167.6488.
"We swam with more confidence and better presentation and we have improved our synchronization. We are happy with both our performances and with the results as we are much closer in scores to our competitors," Koroleva said. "And obviously we are very excited to go to the Olympics this summer."
Alvarez and Koroleva first paired up in 2015 and finished sixth in their first competition together, the 2015 French Open, in March. In July they competed at the FINA World Championships, finishing 11th in duet free and 12th in duet tech. They both represented the United States at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games in the team event, earning bronze. They have since earned two bronze medals as a duet at the 2016 German Open and French Open.
This will be Koroleva’s second Olympic team; at the London 2012 Olympic Games, she placed 11th in the duet with then-partner Mary Killman. A member of the U.S. national team since 2007, the 25-year-old has been at the top of synchronized swimming in the U.S. ever since. Alvarez has competed at the national level for several years and will be making her first Olympic appearance in Rio.
As the U.S. did not qualify a team for Rio, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team is now complete. The duo looks to earn the first synchronized swimming medal for Team USA since Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova won bronze in 2004.