Spain continue winning streak on opening day of European Junior Artistic Swimming Championships 2024

Credit to: European Aquatics

By Christina Marmet

The first day of competition at the European Aquatics Junior Artistic Swimming Championships 2024 in Cottonera, Malta, kicked off with an electrifying start, as Spain once more clinched the first gold medal of the event in the Team Technical final.

Victory marked their third consecutive gold in this highly-competitive event at the European Junior Championships, demonstrating the nation’s exceptional skill and consistency year after year. The Spaniards were outstanding in their fast-paced “Namasté” routine, showcasing precise technical elements and a tremendous choreography to clinch the title with a score of 284.0799.

After not participating in this event since 2019, Greece came back with a bang to win the silver medal with 275.5534 for its engaging “Rhythm” choreography.

Five members of the Greek junior team – Thaleia Dampali, Athina Kamarinopoulou, Zoi Karangelou, Sofia Rigakou and Vasiliki Thanou – were just coming off another silver medal-winning performance in the same event at the European Championships in Belgrade two weeks ago. Their experience and confidence undoubtedly made a big impact in Friday’s performance.

Just like in 2023, France claimed bronze with a score of 257.3824. The French had declared the highest Degree of Difficulty of the evening with 39.55, but unfortunately could not fully execute it.

Credit to: European Aquatics

Although they were penalised with one basemark, their strong artistic impression in their “Daft Punk” choreography helped them narrowly stay on the podium ahead of Switzerland by only 2.624 points.

Throughout the day, the atmosphere was charged with excitement in the brand-new Olympic-sized indoor pool within the Cottonera Sports Complex, as athletes from across Europe vied for medals or simply a spot in the final, setting the stage for an exhilarating championship ahead.

The competition started off with 19 junior soloists participating in the Women’s Solo Free Preliminary, with the hopes of placing in the top 12 to qualify to the final. By the end of the morning, European bronze medallist Marloes Steenbeek of Netherlands came out on top with a score of 245.4167 thanks to her strong performance to the song “Golden Hour” by JVKE.

She will be joined in the final, scheduled for Monday morning, by soloists from Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany, Georgia, France, Czechia, Türkiye, Slovakia, Switzerland and Croatia.

It was exciting to see a wide array of European nations represented in this event, which also marked the return of Luxembourg to the international stage for the first time in over 25 years.

Follow all the action live on European Aquatics TV, as the competition continues on Saturday with the Free Duet Preliminary at 10:00 before moving on to the exciting and high-flying Team Acrobatic Final at 17:00.