Changzhou 2010, Day 5: First-time winner He Zi in the women's 3m springboard
China's He Zi scored her first world title in the women's 3m springboard on day 5 of the FINA Diving World Cup in Changzhou, China, while Olympic champion and teammate Wu Minxia missed what would have been her third World Cup title in a row. He, world champion in the 1m springboard event in 2007, led the final all the way to the end, conquering her first world title with a total of 395.55 points.
Wu, Olympic champion in 3m springboard synchro with diving "queen" Guo Jingjing at two Olympic Games, made a big splash in her dive, a Forward 3 1/2 Somersault, Pike, and scored 54.25 points, which pulls her down to fourth place. Despite the setback, Wu managed to come back and secured a silver medal, totaling 371.05 points.
Mexico's Paola Espinosa, 10m platform world champion in 2009, showed her versatility on the springboard by taking a bronze medal with 367.80 points after taking the eighth position in the 10m platform event two days earlier.
Though Wu was one step away from conquering a third World Cup title, she said she has already made many "miracles" during her career: "According to my body condition and talent, many people told me; you cannot be an athlete or you can never be a champion. However, I have been a diver for many years and I have grabbed some gold medals. It is a miracle, isn't it?"
"A silver is good enough for me. I did my best," added the 24-year-old.
In the men's 10m platform synchro, the Chinese duo Cao Yuan/Zhang Yanquan claimed victory by edging the Russian pair Victor Minibaev/Ilia Zakharov by less than eight points.
With a lower degree of difficulty compared to the Russians, Cao/Zhang scored 21 perfect 10s in the final, opening the way for their first world title with a total 500.46 points.
Minibaev/Zakharov finished second with 492.90 points. The bronze was awarded to Cuba's Jose A. Guerra/Jenkler Aguirre, who totaled 462.60 points.
China has swept six golds from the eight on offer so far while the American duo reached the highest podium in the "test" inaugural "Team Event".
The World Cup will come to an end on Sunday after the women's 3m springboard synchro and the men's 10m platform finals.