The Spanish women's synchronized swimming team settled for a bronze medal with their "Ocean" routine, trailing silver-winning China at the end by almost one point.

Russia won the gold medal.

The Spaniards gave it their all, but when they finished their routine and the Chinese women were still waiting to swim, they knew the silver would not be theirs.

Sometimes total dedication is not enough, nor training more than eight hours a day, nor the science of biomechanics nor the expert guidance of trainers, psychologists and osteopaths. Nor the kind of creativity no longer limited to drama and dance.

No, a new kind of help was on hand - a hairdresser came from Barcelona for the express purpose of cutting the Spanish women's hair so it would adjust sleekly to a helmet that went with the eye-catching scaly bathing suit. Everything for the cause.

Synchronized swimming has become more and more an Esther Williams-style show.

So it wasn't just perfect technique that was being judged but creativity as well, and the Spaniards piled it on to try and grab that extra 1/10 of a point that might determine who gets the medal.

Spain will leave London with two medals in synchronized swimming - the silver of the duet and the bronze for the team, a haul slightly inferior to the two silvers won four years ago at Beijing. EFE