Platanioti Wins Greece’s First Artistic Swimming Gold in Women’s Solo Technical

2024 World Championships – Artistic Swimming

Evangelia Platanioti made history for Greece on Saturday by winning the nation’s first-ever artistic swimming gold medal in the women’s solo technical event at the 2024 World Championships.

One things was for certain heading into Saturday’s final: There would be a new solo technical world champion on the women’s side since Japan’s Yukiko Inui retired after her victory last year in Fukuoka at 32 years old. Platanioti rose to the occasion this year, topping the podium with a score of 272.9633 after just barely missing a medal with a 4th-place finish in Fukuoka last year.

“This medal weighs a lot, it is the heaviest I’ve ever won,” said the 29-year-old Platanioti, who is competing at her eighth World Championships. “Inside it there is a lot of very hard work, many hours of training, and also tenacity and much determination. I fought for the gold medal and words can’t describe my feelings after I made it.”

Platanioti’s total score of 272.9633 was calculated from 171.3133 for elements and 101.6500 for artistic swimming to a difficulty of 38.900. Last year, she earned bronze medals for both her solo technical and solo free routines. Her win this year marks Greece’s first Worlds gold medal in any discipline since Spyros Gianniotis‘ 10km open water victory back in 2013.

Platanioti is gearing up for her fourth Olympics this summer in Paris. The last time around in Tokyo, she never competed because of positive COVID-19 cases within the Greek artistic swimming team announced just hours before her duet technical performance.

Jacqueline Simoneau of Canada took silver just a few points behind Platanioti with a score of 269.2767. It was the first Worlds medal for the 27-year-old. A four-time Pan American Games champion, Simoneau performed to the song, “Save the Last Dance for Me,” by Michael Buble.

“I came here today increasing my routine difficulty by four points, so I knew I would have big wins or big losses and it turned out in my favourite shape,” said Simoneau. “I’m really glad how it turned out for me, it’s fun to see how the sport has evolved to what it is today.”

At just 18 years old, China’s Xu Huiyan, 18, captured the bronze medal with 262.3700 points, performing a routine with a difficulty of 38.200.

“This medal feels great,” said Xu. “This is out of my expectation, to be honest. It was a bit of a surprise to finish among the top three. Things went very well for me today. The perfect execution on the hybrid and technical requirement elements was the key point for me to end up so high.”

Last year’s runner-up in Fukuoka, Vasilik Alexandri of Austria, was again positioned for a medal this year after placing 2nd in prelims. But she received a base mark for her final hybrid element, finish with a score of 234.4984 and falling to 6th place. Belarusian neutral athlete Vasilina Khandoshka (261.7466) and Germany’s Klara Bleyer rounded out the top five finishers.

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