They didn't place at the FINA World Championships but the experience New Zealand's synchronised swimming team gained on the world stage was even more important.

The Aquaferns have returned from representing New Zealand at the international competition in Korea with their eyes wide open.

The team is made up of Auckland's Ina Brown and Madeleine Pastor-Pasi, Invercargill's Ali Robertson and Arielle Wilkes and Tauranga Synchro members Eden Worsley, Isobel Pettit, Karlina Steiner, Zyleika Pratt-Smith and Eva Morris, who is also the national captain.

While all members will compete in the team events, Morris was New Zealand's only soloist and took part in duet divisions with Worsley and Pettit.

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Morris says there were no medals awarded to the New Zealand side in any of their five swims but being judged by some of the world's best judges, getting feedback from them and seeing what routines the top countries had come up with was inspiring.

It allowed them to see how they had ranked against the best in the world.

"It was a really good chance for all of the girls to see what it's like to perform on the world stage. They performed really well under pressure," Morris says.

"It's a good wake-up call."

Tauranga's Eva Morris of New Zealand competes in the Solo Free preliminary round on day four of the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships. Photo / Getty Images
Tauranga's Eva Morris of New Zealand competes in the Solo Free preliminary round on day four of the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships. Photo / Getty Images

The FINA World Championships is a multi-sport aquatic event that featured competitions for synchronised swimming, swimming, diving, water polo, high diving and open water swimming, and it was the first time in six years New Zealand had sent a team to the event.

For the sport of synchronised swimming, it's an Olympic qualifying event.

Russia claimed gold, China won silver and Ukraine took home bronze in the competition.

"I think it was a really good competition, especially with the help of our coaches."

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Those coaches were Tauranga Synchro's head coach Lara Teixeira Cianciarulo - a three-time Olympian for Brazil, and Junco Tanaka. Morris said their networks allowed them to have a lot of support at the event.

Morris is unsure what's next for the New Zealand squad but says her focus, as well as her Tauranga teammates, would be representing Tauranga Synchro at nationals later this year.