Anita Alvarez competes at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 on July 31, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
Anita Alvarez and Lindi Schroeder have dreams of competing at the Olympic Games Tokyo this summer, and on Friday they kicked off the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series season with a pair of bronze medals.
Those alone won’t impact whether or not they get to compete at the Olympics, Alvarez for the second time and Schroeder for the first, but it’s a glimpse at where they stand as they work toward the goal of qualification.
Alvarez and Schroder earned the bronze medal in both technical and freestyle duets in Paris, in both cases placing behind Ukraine and France. This weekend’s event is the first of eight World Series meets that will run now through June, when the Super Final will be held in Canada.
Alvarez made her Olympic debut in Rio at the age of 19, competing with partner Mariya Koroleva, and finished ninth. She and Schroeder were selected last fall as the duet to represent the U.S. in Tokyo, should they qualify. They will have an opportunity to do that April 30-May 3 at a qualification event in Tokyo, where they would need to finish in the top seven, excluding nations that have already qualified. They could also qualify at the same meet if the U.S. team finishes as one of the top three nations. Both duet and team competitions will be contested in Tokyo.
In the technical competition on Friday, Alvarez and Schroeder scored an 84.5879, just edging out a squad from the Netherlands but falling just shy of France in second place with a score of 85.7933. In the freestyle they scored an 86.4667, finishing comfortably ahead of fourth-place finisher Great Britain with a score of 84.3000 and behind France with a 87.8667. Ukraine scored over 90.000 in both events.
Duet made its Olympic debut in 1984, when the U.S. won the gold medal. Team USA last medaled in the event in 2004, when Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova won bronze.