DWS 2012, Beijing: Chinese divers boil up "Water Cube" on Day 1
Coming back to the "Water Cube", China's National Aquatic Center in Beijing, Chinese divers maintained the status quo on Day 1 of the second stage of the 2012 FINA/Midea Diving World Series 2012 by winning the four gold medals on offer, leaving the silver and bronze to divers from Mexico, Canada, USA, Great Britain, Germany and Malaysia.
Olympic and World Cup champion He Chong dominated the men's 3m springboard, winning in 548.70 points with a game-high 99.45 for his last dive - a Forward 2.5 Somersault 3 Twists, Pike. He led teammate Qin Kai for a 1-2 finish as Qin totalled 509.55 points. Mexico's Julian Sanchez was third with a score of 471.05, ahead of American veteran Troy Dumais and Canadian diving star Alexandre Despatie, who stunned the audience with brilliant performances.
"It's great to come back to my familiar place, I'm OK but not satisfied with my performance because I've had fever for almost one week since I returned from Dubai, the previous leg of World Series," the Chinese winner admitted.
Two-time Olympic champion and World champion Wu Minxia, pairing with He Zi, led all the way through the last dive with their commanding performances to lift the women's 3m springboard synchro gold. American duo Kelci Bryant/Abigail Johnston and Canada's Abel Jennifer/Heymans Emilie totalled the same score, 306.30 points, but the Americans took the edge in the one-dive tiebreaker with a slim 2.70 point advantage over the Canadians.
"We made two little mistakes and
fortunately we made it up later," said Abel after the competition.
"It's really unusual to compete in a tiebreaker, which never happened to
me before. It's a new experience, interesting and different," she added.
Kelci BRYANT & Abigail JOHNSTON (USA) - credit: Jia Yuchen
Buoyed by their World Cup and World Series n°1 successes, Chinese pair Zhang Yanquan/Cao Yuan proved invincible in the men's 10m platform synchro with a grueling score of 480.18. Thomas Daley/Peter Waterfield of Great Britain took silver with 437.40 points and Germans Patrick Hausding/Sascha Klein claimed the bronze, totalling 431.64.
Speaking after the event, Waterfield said: "We were third last year here. This time we have improved and got the second place. We still have a lot of space for improvement".
Teammate Daley said he remains focused on his sport: "I've tried my best on diving, for every training session. I can say that I am focused on diving, though I also need to study in school. I get close to the media because I want to be a TV commentator someday in the future".
The women's 10m platform crown was reserved for Chen Ruolin (CHN), who won the event in convincing fashion with a total 422.55, ahead of compatriot Hu Yadan (400.65) and Malaysia's talent Pandelela Rinong Pamg (372.15). Mexico's Paola Espinosa, silver medallist at Dubai's first meet of the Series, took a disappointing fifth place.
Hu dropped to last spot among six finalists after her second dive, collecting a poor 57.60. She made a strong comeback to take the runner-up position in the last three dives. Her last dive - Back 2.5 Somersault 1.5 Twists, Pike - earned the young prospect the highest score of the session, 91.20.
Reflecting on her performance, Hu said: "I am growing up right and getting taller and heavier than before. It's not easy to dive like before, but I'm trying to do that".
Men's 10m Platform Synchro Podium: Thomas DALEY & Peter WATERFIELD (GBR), Yanquan ZHANG & Yuan CAO (CHN),
and Patrick HAUSDING & Sascha KLEIN (GER) - credit: Jia Yuchen