Diving Juniors, 2010: China’s young guns dominate in Tucson (USA)

The 18th edition of the FINA World Junior Diving Championships concluded on September 6, 2010, in Tucson, Arizona (USA). The six-day successful event gathered more than 180 young talents from 29 countries.

In this edition, China’s divers dominated the operations once again, sweeping six out of the 14 gold at stake and collecting 18 medals in all. The United States took the second rank on the medal chart, with 3 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronze. Mexico did also a very good job, with 1 gold, 2 silvers and 1 bronze. Other nations to medal at the Championships were Great Britain, Japan, Russia (only one gold!), Australia, Ukraine and Canada.

Day 1
Boys ‘A’ 3m springboard
The Mexican team in Tucson celebrated its first trip to the podium with the gold medal performance of Kevin Chavez with a final total of 580.30. China’s Jincong Li took silver and Kristian Ipsen from the United States secured the minor medal, with respective total scores of 574.45 and 565.20.

Girls ‘B’ 1m springboard
In the final round, each diver performed just three dives, so the pressure was on. The United States celebrated their second medal of the day with Kassidy Cook taking gold with a final score of 376.85. Second and third spots were claimed by two young Chinese, Ying Lou (362.95 points) and Mengchen Sun (348.05 points).

Day 2
Girls ‘A’ 1m springboard
Taking gold was Tian Liu (CHN) with a final total of 406.95 while silver went to her compatriot Ying Wei with a score of 404.05. The bronze was earned by Pamela Ware from Canada with a final tally of 398.15.

Girls A 1m springboard medallists

Girls ‘B’ platform

Another gold medal went to young Chinese diver Yi Lan, totalling 405.90 points. Her finest dive was a Tuck Inward 3 ½ Somersault (DD 3.2), for which she received three scores of 9.0. In second was Australia’s first medallist of the Championships, Brittany Broben, who finished with an overall score of 370.75. The bronze went to Samantha Bromberg (USA) with a score of 336.55.

Boys ‘A+B’ synchronised 3m springboard
Again, China prevailed. The pairing of Jincong Li and Chao He did not fail to sustain China’s winning streak by taking gold with a total score of 324.24. Silver went to the American pair of Michael Hixon and Kristian Ipsen, who finished with a total of 309.57. Ukraine’s Oleg Kolodiy and Oleksandr Bondar took the bronze, scoring an overall 301.14.

Boys A+B synchronised 3m springboard medallists

Day 3
Boys ‘B’ 1m springboard
Jack Laugher’s (GBR) total score for the final round was 440.00, a clear win, while Bryce Klein (USA) and Sheng Li (CHN) finished with 416.85 and 391.95 respectively.

Girls ‘A’ 3m springboard
China’s sweep of gold at the Championships in Tucson continued on Day 3 when Tian Liu won the girls ‘A’ 3m springboard event – this is her second gold, after winning the 1m springboard event yesterday – with a total score of 452.70. Anna Gelai gave Australia its second silver medal, totalling 433.40 points. In third was Ying Wei (CHN) – capturing her second medal – with a score of 431.15.

Jack Laugher (GBR)

Day 4
Boys ‘A’ 1m springboard
The boys 1m springboard saw China’s Jincong Li cleanly defeated by United States’ Kristian Ipsen, winning with a total score of 560.80. It was arguably his last dive, a clean Free Reverse 1 ½ Somersault 2 ½ Twists (DD 3.0) that gave him marks of 8.5 or higher across the board, which sealed his victory. The podium was the same than in the boys ‘A’ 3m springboard but in reverse order, with Kevin Chavez (MEX) this time claiming third spot.

Boys ‘B’ platform
Russia, which also has a formidable reputation for grooming excellent divers, and therefore remains one of China’s strongest opponents, placed rising talent Igor Myalin on the highest podium, with a final total of 537.10 while China’s Aisen Chen (515.25 points) and Song Yuan (481.95 points) finished second and third respectively.

Girls ‘A+B’ synchronised 3m springboard
The last final of the day was another Chinese victory, as the pair Ying Lou and Tian Liu maintained the golden standard now expected from the young Chinese representing diving’s superpower nation in Tucson, with a total score of 313.50. Kassidy Cook and Loren Figueroa (USA) took silver, scoring 292.20 while Ukrainian partners Viktoriya Potyekhina and Viktoriya Kesar fought for the bronze, totalling 289.89.

Day 5
Boys ‘B’ 3m springboard
It is Jack Laugher (GBR) who now has the title in this event, with a final total of 483.60. The young Briton had an outstanding final and was the only diver to earn marks of 9.0 on one of his four dives. Andres Villarreal from Mexico took silver (469.20 points) and Aisen Chen earned his second medal, a bronze (460.50 points).

Girls ‘A’ platform
The obvious winner was Japan’s Fuka Tatsumi, with a final score of 445.05. Silver medal winner-at-home Mary-Beth Dunnichay (USA) totalled 418.55 while China’s Jingzhen Cao settled for the bronze, scoring 414.90.

Andres Villarreal (MEX)

Day 6
Girls ‘B’ 3m springboard
American Kassidy Cook performed steadily to earn her title, executing three solid dives with a degree of difficulty (DD) between 2.8 and 3.0 to garner marks from the seven judges that were never below 7.5 or above 9.0. She finished with an overall 437.30. Scooping the silver medal behind her was young Chinese diving prospect Ying Lou, with 422.30 points. Yuka Mabuchi gave Japan its second medal, securing the bronze with a final score of 401.00.

Boys ‘A’ platform
Young Chinese divers occupied the majority of the podium yet again in the event, with Anqi Wang taking the win in a powerful total of 602.25 points. Silver medallist German Sanchez (MEX) had a beautiful opening dive, which gave him 599.70 points with 8.5’s and 9.0’s across the board. Ukraine’s rising hope Oleksandr Bondar was happy with the bronze, scoring 598.95.