TIANJIN, May 17 (Xinhua) -- China's synchronized swimming star sisters Jiang Wenwen and Jiang Tingting claimed the pairs title at the 13th National Games here on Wednesday.
The twin sisters used to be the leading figures of China's synchronized swimming squad. They made history in 2008 when they placed the fourth in the free combination event at the Beijing Olympics. They were also part of the team that won a silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics. They retired after the National Games in 2013, but both decided to make a comeback in 2015 after having daughters.
"We are so happy to win the gold medal," said Jiang Wenwen, who shed into tears after the final. "We trained so hard every day."
In the final which was contested by nine pairs, the star sisters collected 89.9369 points to win their first national title after their comeback. The silver medal went to Hunan's Sun Wenyan/Li Xiaolu, who collected 88.8492. Guangdong's Wang Liuyi/Wang Qianyi took the bronze at 86.5554.
"We raised the difficulty degree of our performance in the duet free, and our difficulty degree now is almost the same with the Russian team, which is a big challenge for us," said Jiang Tingting, also the silver medallists with Jiang Wenwen at the event of the 2013 Barcelona Worlds.
"It's not easy for us to comeback," said Jiang Wenwen. "But we want to fight for our dream, and we also want to set an example for our daughters."
According to their coach Zheng Jia, the twins are even stronger than before after their comeback, and they are more mature in their mentality since becoming mothers.
"They were known for extraordinary artistic expression but lacked strength. Now, their physical power is catching up, which is in line with the current development trends in synchronized swimming," She said. "They are different. In the past, I always had to push them in the training, but now, there's no need."
"The difficulty of the performance is a challenge for them," Zheng added. "I remember when they first finished the routine, they could not move and almost sank in the pool. Their legs were shaking after today's competition."
"They can choose to stay home after becoming mothers, but they decided to comeback to fulfill their dreams. I am so proud of them," Zheng said.
The synchronized swimming final, runs from May 17 to 19, is the second final held ahead of the opening ceremony of the National Games after marathon. The National Games will kick off on August 27.