The gold medal added further luster to a storied career that Romashina has said will end with retirement after Tokyo
With a spider-themed routine, fast moves and sharp coordination, Svetlana Romashina of the Russian Olympic Committee won a record sixth gold Wednesday to become the most decorated Olympian in synchronized swimming.
Romashina, 31, and partner Svetlana Kolesnichenko won the duet competition Wednesday, taking Romashina to the top of the podium for the event in a third straight Games.
The gold medal added further luster to a storied career that Romashina has said will end with retirement after Tokyo.
Romashina, the veteran of three previous Olympics and holder of 21 world titles, has a chance to take still more gold with the final team performance Saturday.
Russia has taken gold in every Olympic synchronized swimming event since Sydney in 2000.
From their start at the edge of the pool, with sinuous, spider-like movements, the ROC duo outclassed the rest of the field with the height of their boosts, the closeness of their swimming and their speed even at the end, when performers tend to get tired.
They earned a combined score of 195.9079.
Rio silver medallists Huang Xuechen and Sun Wenyan from China took silver again with a snake-themed routine in which their hands and eyes both suggested serpents as they spun through the water in green and silver suits.
The angle of their moves, high in difficulty level, and tightly synchronized spins helped earn them 192.4499 combined points, better than they did in a preliminary round earlier this week.
Ukrainians Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk edged out hosts Japan with 189.4620 for bronze, their nation's first Olympic synchronised swimming medal.
Synchronized swimming continues with team technical competition Friday and team free Saturday.