The Russian duet took first place for the Gold while bronze went to Chinese pairing Huang Xuechen and Liu Ou.
Ona Carbonell and Andrea Fuentes. Photo: EFE
Ona Carbonell and Andrea Fuentes won a silver medal for Spain on Tuesday with a lively, tango-inspired routine that had the crowd at the Olympic Aquatics Centre clapping along nearly the entire way.
They nervously awaited their marks to see whether they had done enough in 3½ minutes to improve on their third-place showing in the prelims. They had, finishing with a score of 192.900 to edge out China for silver.
Carbonell and Fuentes weren't sure at first where they had finished, looking toward their coaches with puzzled expressions.
“I could not believe it when we realized that we were second,” Fuentes said. “I was a bit confused, thinking that the Chinese were ahead of us. We have shown that if we want it, we can get it.”
China's Huang Xuechen and Liu Ou settled for the bronze in 192.870.
Fuentes matched the silver medal she won in duet with Gemma Mengual as her partner at the 2008 Beijing Games. The 22-year-old Carbonell has been her partner for the past 18 months.
“Ona is very young and new to the team,” said Ana Tarres, the Spanish coach. “All the efforts have paid off.”
Wearing suits emblazoned with a dragon across the front, Huang and Liu improved on their score from the prelims with an impressive display of legwork, but the duo's heralded stamina - they've been known to train for 10 hours straight - wasn't enough to hold off Spain's elegant maneuvers.
Still, it was China's first medal in duet.
“It was a huge improvement compared to what we got at the previous games, you can see this from the scores,” Liu said. “We got everything we could from the training experience.”
She knows that catching Russia is another matter.
“We don't consider Russia a challenger because we cannot compete with them,” Liu said. “Our only challenger is Spain.”