China takes 3 gold medals at Artistic Swimming World Cup in Egypt

China's Yang Shuncheng (L) and Dai Shiyi pose with their gold medals after the award ceremony at the Artistic Swimming World Cup in Hurghada, Egypt, May 14, 2023. (Photos: Xinhua)

China took three gold medals at the Artistic Swimming World Cup in Hurghada, Egypt, which concluded on Sunday.

16-year-old Yang Shuncheng added another gold in men's solo free title with 291.9209 points after he claimed victory in the men's solo technical routine a day ago. Dai Shiyi, 24, took the women's solo free gold medal with 338.2750 points.

"This is my first time abroad and my first international competition," teenager Yang said, "it was staged in an open swimming pool, which I was never tried before. The sunshine was too strong that I could not open my eyes. When the wind was strong, I could not deliver vertical movements well. The water was cold and my muscle was stiff. When I turned 360 degrees and got above the water on the first day, I lost my sense of direction."

Yang Shuncheng of China competes during the final of men solo free at World Aquatics Artistic Swimming World Cup in Hurghada, Egypt, May 14, 2023.

Yang said he needed to improve scores in artistic impression, "I owe my medal to difficulty this time, but I didn't score high in artistic impression. Other swimmers performed really well and were appealing in upper limb movements and on deck."

Meanwhile, for her part, China's artistic swimming physical trainer Zhao Dantong said, "even though not as many as teams and star athletes competed in the Egyptian leg, and the competition was held in an open pool, this is a great opportunity for athletes to train and gain experience."

The Super Final of the Artistic Swimming World Cup will take place in Spain from June 2 to 4.

Last October, the international governing body for swimming events World Aquatics amended its rules to allow up to two men per country in the artistic team event at competitions, including the Olympics, for the first time.