Today at the Olympics, the final aquatics discipline takes to the water as the synchronised swimming events begin. The sport, which has only been contested at the Olympics since the 1984 Games, is represented with perfect form and precision in Google’s 10th Olympic-themed doodle.
There are 46 gold medals for the taking across all aquatics events, two of which go to synchronised swimmers: one for the duets and one for the team event. In all, 104 competitors from 32 countries are vying for a spot on the podium.
The competition starts with the technical routine qualifications for the duets, followed by the free routine tomorrow and the duets final on Tuesday, 7 August. The team event then begins on Thursday, 9 August, with the final on the following day.
Teams from the USA, Canada and Japan have excelled at synchronised swimming, but the past three Olympic Games have seen Russia take home the gold in every event.
Though it began as a male sport in the 19th century, synchronised swimming is now one of just two disciplines in the Olympic programme in which only women compete, the other being rhythmic gymnastics.
Boxing was once an all-male Olympic event, but, today, history will be made when Russia’s Elena Savelyeva and North Korea’s Hye Song Kim enter the ring and become the first female boxers to compete at the Olympics. For the first time, London 2012 will feature 36 female boxers competing across three weight divisions, including Ireland’s great Olympic hope, Katie Taylor, who faces her first bout in the ExCeL arena on Monday at 2.30pm.
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