Aleksandr Maltsev: Synchronised swimming champion
Practicing and perfecting an underwater marvel. Russian synchronised swimming champion Aleksandr Maltsev creates a routine an upcoming world championship event.
Russian synchronised swimming champion Aleksandr Maltsev is a two-time World Champion, a four-time European champion and the first man to represent Russia in mixed-gender synchronised swimming at the highest level - as men only became allowed to compete in 2015. However, Aleksandr is unfazed, and remains a vocal advocate of gender-equality in the sport - his aim being to get men to compete at the next Olympics as a part of the mixed duet. Alina Isachenka meets Aleksandr in Moscow on one of his days off, which he decides to spend looking at paintings by one of his favourite artists, Frida Kahlo. She then travels with him to the closed sports base on the outskirts of the city, where Aleksandr lives and trains from dawn until dusk with his mixed duet partner Maya Gurbanberdieva, and their perfectionist coach. It’s here, in and around the pool they practice in, that Alina gains unique insight into the process of creating - what is hoped will be - a gold-winning routine for the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series taking place in Kazan in April.