Synchronised swimming is an Olympic sport often described as "dance in the water”, its development from water ballet started when Australian Annettee Kellerman performed in a glass tank at the New York Hippodrome in 1907.
Synchronised swimming is performed solo, in duets, trios or a team. It demands advanced water skills, and requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater.
Judges award scores based on Technical Merit and Artistic Impression;
Training sessions are devoted to working on “figures” (also known as moves) – the set of body positions and transition movement which form the basis of synchronised swimming. Land work sessions include flexibility, strength and weight training, and creating, walking through and learning routines.
Today, Synchronised Swimming has also evolved to become the epitome of diligence, dedication, esprit de corps, perseverance and a can-do attitude of all our national players.
The pool where synchronised swimming takes place must be at least 3m deep over a 12x12m area in the centre of the pool. A clip on the swimmer’s nose, which prevents an intake of water through the nostrils, makes it possible for the athlete to stay underwater longer; the use of hair gelatine and make-up helps hair to stay in place and highlights the athletes’ features respectively; underwater speakers transmit the music into the pool, helping the swimmers to keep their synchronisation while under water.
Synchronised Swimming was first introduced in the Olympics in 1984. The USA, Canada and Russia have all claimed gold while Japan and France have shared in silver and bronze medals. It is one of only three Olympic disciplines in which only women are allowed to compete (the other two being Rhythmic gymnastics and Softball). Synchronised swimming is also now accepted internationally as a spectator sport, being one of the first events to sell out at the Olympic Games.