Duet Qualifies For Olympic Games

March 03, 2016, 12:43 p.m. (ET)

 
Anita Alvarez, left, and Mariya Koroleva will compete for Team USA at the Olympic Games.

RIO DE JANEIRO - Team USA’s Anita Alvarez (Kenmore, N.Y.) and Mariya Koroleva (Concord, Calif.) have punched their ticket for the Rio Olympic Games this summer, qualifying in duet.

The duo finished seventh in the duet free competition Thursday at the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Rio de Janeiro. They scored 85.2667 points. They had finished seventh in the duet tech on Wednesday with 82.3821 points for an overall total of 167.6488 points.

"We are now halfway through our Olympic journey, and I am quite happy with the way the athletes responded to the training plan,” said U.S. national team coach Lolli Montico. “I am definitely pleased with the performance and the results. The athletes are improving and the results an encouraging. We are ready to work even more to achieve the best results and get closer to the top."

This will be the second Olympics for Koroleva, who finished 11th in duet with Mary Killman at the 2012 Games. Alvarez, 19, will be making her Olympic debut.

“We swam with more confidence and better presentation and we 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, 25, said. “And obviously we are very excited to go to the Olympics this summer.”

The tournament, held at Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre, includes 133 athletes representing 30 national federations trying to guarantee their quota place in team and duet. Eight teams and 24 duets will compete in Rio in August. The U.S. will not compete in the team event.

Alvarez and Koroleva most recently won bronze medals at the German Open and French Open in the lead-up to the qualifier. Koroleva also won bronze in duet at the 2015 Pan American Games, and the duo finished 11th in duet free and 12th in duet tech at the 2015 FINA World Championships.

“We have been traveling to camps and competitions for the last two months and it will be nice to have some time at home with family,” Koroleva said. “However, we are eager to get back to work to continue to improve and hopefully place even better at the Olympics."