DWS 2011 - Guanajuato, Day 1: Garcia and Sanchez win gold at home
Mariachi music echoed in Guanajuato (MEX) when Mexican divers Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez got the gold medal in the synchronised 10m platform with 446.73 points, in what constituted one of the surprises of the inaugural day of the fourth and last leg of the FINA/MIDEA Diving World Series.
The Mexicans were very close to the podium in the three previous meets, but in Guanajuato they finally got their first win of the series. In a duel ahead of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Garcia/Sanchez took over the lead in the third round and beat David Boudia/Thomas Finchum (USA), second with 437.10, and Jose Guerra/Jeinkler Aguirre (CUB), third with 433.71.
This event has had four different winners: Jose Guerra/Jeinkler Aguirre (CUB) in Moscow, Yuan Cao/Yanquang Zhang (CHN) in Beijing, Thomas Daley/Peter Waterfield (GBR) in Sheffield and German Sanchez/Ivan Garcia in the final stage of Guanajuato.
However, China continued its dominance in the other events, and the fight between its leading divers was once more visible in Mexico. Among men, He Chong surprised Qin Kai in the 3m springboard, winning this fourth leg with 519.20 points. This time, Qin Kai was second with 518.75, after being the winner in Moscow, Beijing and Sheffield. The bronze medal went to Yahel Castillo (MEX), with 507.05 points – a medal that left the 1200 spectators present in the venue (Macro Sports Centre) absolutely thrilled.
Wu Minxia and He Zi (CHN) were the indisputable winners of the women's 3m springboard synchro with a perfect Grand Slam in the four meets of the World Series. In Guanajuato, they obtained the gold with 332.70 points. Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans (CAN) were second with 306.30 and Anastasia Pozdnyakova and Svetlana Filippova were once again on the podium for the bronze (293.94).
The 15-year-old prodigy Hu Yadan (CHN) added her second victory (after Sheffield) in the 10m platform with 399.75 points, while her compatriot Wang Hao was second with 392.80 and Melissa Wu (AUS) third with 392.25. World champion Paola Espinosa (MEX) could not please her fans, and finished fourth with 359.15. In Guanajuato, the Olympic champion Chen Ruolin, who won in Moscow and Beijing, did not participate in the individual platform and will only be present in the synchro event.
Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez (MEX) - credit: Christian Palma