By James Crook

174347422July 24 - Russia's Svetlana Romashina has secured her third synchronised swimming gold medal of the 2013 International Aquatics Federation (FINA) World Championships in Barcelona, impressing the judges with a Marilyn Monroe-inspired routine to take the solo free routine title.

Romashina notched up an incredible 15th career World Championship gold medal by scoring 97.340 points to fend off competition from China's Xuechen Huang, who won her third silver medal of the Championships with a score of 95.720, and home favourite Ona Carbonell, who took the bronze medal in her home city with a routine that paid homage to the Barcelona 1992 Games, with 94.290.

"Today was more difficult because I was nervous, I was more confident in the technical programme," said Romashina, who also won three gold medals at the last World Championships in Shanghai two years ago.

"I want to thank my coach Tatiana Dachenko who believed in me and encouraged me to perform this routine."

The decision to base her routine on Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe "as the idea of my coach's daughter," revealed Romashina.

"She has had this idea for the last two years but we didn't know which athlete would do it," she added.

"I felt comfortable in this role.

"I like the character so I was really happy to play this role."

174347879Svetlana Romashina (centre) took gold in the solo synchro free routine ahead of Xuechen Huang (left) and Ona Carbarell (right) who took silver and bronze respectively

Carbonell claimed she was pleased to win the bronze medal in front of her home crowd.

"I'm very happy with this medal, I am performing seven routines at these World Championships so it is hard but I hope we continue like this for the rest of the competition," she said.

Her coach Mayuko Fujiki was also encouraged by her performance, saying: "It was very much first step for Ona to represent Spain as a solo swimmer, we had very little time to train so I am very proud of her.

"It was very hard for her to train with a new duet partner as well [Margalida Crespi]."

Romashina's third gold medal of the championships adds to her wins in the solo technical, in which the top three were exactly the same, and the duet technical alongside Svetlana Kolesnichenko.

Russia leads the way in the synchronised swimming at these Championships taking all four gold medals on offer so far, ahead of China with three silver medals and Spain with one silver and three bronze medals.

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