DWS 2010 - Veracruz (I), Day 1: Despatie (CAN) back in the 3m
China confirmed its supremacy at the start of the second stage of the FINA-LI NING Diving World Series, held in Veracruz (MEX, April 16-17), winning three of the four finals that were contested on the first day of competition. The positive surprise of the session was Alexandre Despatie (CAN), who won the gold in the men's 3m springboard.
Hundreds of Mexicans filled the seats of the Veracruz Aquatic Complex to cheer the 50 participant divers from 13 countries. They were also pleased to see local heroes Paola Espinosa geeting the silver medal in the 10m platform and Yahel Castillo the bronze medal in the 3m springboard.
Alexandre Despatie (CAN) took over the 3m springboard with a total of 507 points. His performance and degree of difficulty helped in overcoming Chinese Qin Kai, second with 493.20, while the bronze medal was left to Yahel Castillo of Mexico with 470.10. Qin Kai was the winner of the first leg in Qingdao (CHN), so the number one in Sheffield (GBR, third and last meet of the series) will be crucial to know who will take the overall prize money award in this event.
Podium men's 3m : 1st Alexandre Despatie (CAN), 2nd Kai Qin (CHN), 3rd Yahel Castillo (MEX)
"I'm happy, I trained hard for this result and I'm working for a gold medal at the Olympic Games in London, that is my dream. In Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 I won silver medals and now I work for the Olympic gold," said a smiling Alexandre Despatie, who finished only sixth in Qingdao.
A duel between the Olympic champion Ruolin Chen (CHN) and world champion Paola Espinosa (MEX) was the main attraction of the final of the women's 10m platform. A "symphony" of art, and art movements in the air were the characteristics of this event. After five dives, high degrees of difficulty and closed scores between the two Chinese divers and the Mexican star, the gold medal went to Ruolin with 400.50; Paola Espinosa won the silver with 389.10 and Li Kang was third in 360.40.
As host of the World Series in Mexico, Paola Espinosa said: "I'm happy, especially for giving a source of joy to the people of Mexico, my silver medal is dedicated to my coach Ma Jin and to my parents who are with me in this competition," said Paola Espinosa. She added: "Competition is becoming stronger, not only on the platform, so we must work to improve. I think the efforts we have made paid off and we look forward to working harder for better results."
Wu Minxia (CHN)
Chinese Minxia Wu/Zi He won the synchronised women's 3m springboard final, after being fourth at home, in Qingdao. Now in Veracruz, they were clearly superior, winning the gold medal with 324 points. Emilie Heymans/Jennifer Abel (CAN) placed second with 303 points and Kelcie Bryant/Abby Johnston (USA) finished third with 300.90.
A standing ovation was received by Yanquan Zhang/Cao Yuan (CHN) after their brilliant triumph in the synchronised men's 10m platform, with 436.20 points. In this event, Germans Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding were very close to the Chinese divers and won the silver medal with 434.31 points. In third, Thomas Finchum and Nick McCrory (USA) with 421.47 improved their performance from Qingdao where they had been fifth.
For the second day of competition the performance of Matthew Mitcham (AUS), Olympic champion in Beijing in the 10m platform, is highly expected. No less than 24 Olympic medallists are competing in Veracruz.