Synchronized swimmers qualify for U.S. Olympic team

Mariya Koroleva, Anita Alvarez
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Americans Mariya Koroleva and Anita Alvarez qualified for the Olympic synchronized swimming duet by finishing seventh in a competition Thursday.

Koroleva, who made her second Olympic team, and Alvarez, who will make her Olympic debut in Rio, needed to finish in the top 11 of an Olympic qualifier in Rio to clinch a Games berth.

Koroleva finished 11th at the London Olympics in the duet with Mary Killman.

The U.S. last earned an Olympic synchronized swimming medal in 2004. It last took gold in 1996.

Russia dominates the sport, taking team and duet gold medals in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

The U.S. failed to qualify a synchronized swimming team for the Olympics and hasn’t done so since 2008.

MORE: Updated list of U.S. athletes qualified for Rio Olympics