(C) Megumi Fields and Natalia Vega celebrate on the podium after winning the women's duet free at the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series on April 3, 2022 in Paris.
The competition switched from virtual to in person, and it didn’t make much of a difference for Megumi Field and Natalia Vega. The artistic swimming duet posted their second win in as many FINA Artistic Swimming World Series when they placed first in the women’s duet free this weekend in Paris.
Their performance highlighted a strong showing for Team USA in Paris, with U.S. swimmers winning five medals. The U.S. also won the women’s team technical and highlight competitions, while also taking silver medals in the mixed duet free and technical events.
The World Series features women’s, men’s and mixed competitions in solo, duet and team events, with medals being awarded for both free and technical programs. That format differs from the Olympic format, which has competition only for women’s duets and women’s teams, and winners are determined based on a combined free and technical routine.
The win was Field and Vega’s second together after also claiming the duet free title at the World Series opener last month, a virtual event put on by the U.S. and Canada.
The 16-year-old Field, of Wilmington, Delaware, and Vega, 23, who is from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, scored 85.7667 points, nearly two better than second-place Israel (83.8). The home duet from France took third with 83.2333 points.
“Before the virtual meet Megumi and I only had one week to prepare together due to some injuries but since then we’ve been working really hard to improve our matching as a duet pair,” Vega said ahead of the Paris event on the USA Artistic Swimming website. “We feel much more comfortable with the routine and confident in the growth we will show from last competition.”
The U.S. team won the technical event in Paris with 86.0680 points, outscoring Canada by 1.3339. The same teams took the top two spots in the highlight event, with the Americans scoring 87.8333 to win. In the non-Olympic mixed duet events, Ivy Davis and Kenny Gaudet placed second in the technical event, while Claudia Coletti and Gaudet took second in the free event.
A World Series event scheduled for next weekend was cancelled, so the tour is off until a virtual event May 7-8 hosted by Australia, followed by the World Series Super Finals on May 20-22 in Athens, Greece.