ROME, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Spain performed a rockin' routine to Led Zeppelin and finally claimed gold in synchronized swimming, winning the free combination at the world championships here on Wednesday.
Taking advantage of Russia's absence, the Spaniards put together a high-energy routine that received scores ranging from 9.7 to 9.9 for a total of 98.333 points. China took the silver with 97.667 and Canada claimed the bronze with 96.167.
The Spaniards fired the crowd up by performing to "Stairway to Heaven", even breaking out a little air guitar on another sweltering day at the Foro Italico.
Spain has struggled to get beyond second place in synchro. At the last world championships in Melbourne two years ago, the country earned four silvers and two bronzes, but no gold. It was the same story at the Beijing Olympics, where the Spaniards took silver behind the Russians in both events.
The trend continued in Rome, with Spain settling for silver in the first three events, each time behind Russia. But the sport's dominant nation didn't enter the free combination, finally providing a little drama.
Then again, in a sport where the hierarchy often seems set even before the competition begins, it was to be expected that Spain would take over with Russia on the sideline.
The home Italians had their second fourth-place showing of the championships, losing out to the Canadians by a half-point.
Canada, which was shut out of the medals at the last three world championships, earned its second medal in Rome. Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon won bronze in the solo technical.