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Aussies bow out in Rio synchro duets

AAP logoAAP 15/08/2016 By Laine Clark

Getting hurt by a bedazzler may appear to be the biggest potential hazard facing a synchronised swimmer to the uninitiated.

But Australia's Rose Stackpole and Nikita Pablo provided an insight into what they endured for just a few minutes of the Rio Olympics limelight.

And unlike the glittering competitors at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, it wasn't pretty.

Olympic rookies Stackpole and Pablo bowed out of the Rio synchro duets on Monday after finishing last in the 24-strong preliminary round.

Only the top 12 teams advanced to Tuesday's medal event.

Pablo and Stackpole will also take part in the teams event for Australia starting on Thursday.

The maligned sport is more synonymous with sequins and sniggers.

But for the Aussie duo it's broken bones and bruises.

At the Australian team's recent training camp, one member fractured her toe while Bianca Hammett - the sole survivor of the 2012 team - had her nose broken by an underwater kick.

It's typical in a sport with spin moves dubbed the "cyclone" and "eggbeater".

Stackpole and Pablo are also nursing their share of bruises after four months training together, just to savour a fleeting Olympic moment.

Their free routine on Sunday lasted three minutes.

Monday's technical routine the same.

But they had no regrets.

"To compete here is inspiring. It motivates us to go forward to the next Olympics," Stackpole said.

The butt of jokes since its 1984 Olympic debut, critics still believe the sport is as necessary as the life guards who gained cult status at the Rio swimming pool.

For Stackpole and Pablo, it's no laughing matter.

But it may take time to become a serious medal threat.

They finished almost 50 points behind the leaders and defending champions, Russia's Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina, in the preliminary round.

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