PARIS – Team USA’s Anita Alvarez (Kenmore, N.Y.) and Mariya Koroleva (Concord, Calif.) are in third place after the duet free preliminary Friday at the French Open Make Up Forever.
Alvarez and Koroleva scored 83.1667 points, just behind France’s Margaux Chretien and Laura Auge (85.9333) and Mexico’s Nuria Diosdado and Karem Achach (85.7333).
“We were happy with our swim, and I think we’ve already improved from last week’s performances in Germany, so the meet is off to a good start,” Koroleva, a 2012 Olympian, said. “I’m excited for tomorrow’s tech program.”
Added Alvarez: "People have seen big improvements from last year and even from our swims last week in Bonn. We are happy with how we are starting off the year."
The duo will compete in the duet technical Saturday, with the free final set for Sunday.
“They had a better performance than the German Open, and they got good feedback from the judges and are looking more confident,” U.S. Senior National Team coach Lolli Montico said.
Swimmers from 24 countries are competing at the French Open, including 20 duets.
Alvarez and Koroleva, who will compete at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Rio de Janeiro next month, most recently won bronze at the German Open.