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DWS 2012, Tijuana: Espinosa (MEX) crowned in 10m platform

Diving World Series

Tijuana, MEXICO - China, Mexico and the United States were the countries that dominated the first day of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series 2012, held at the Aquatic Complex High Performance Center in Tijuana from April 20-21.

As one of the best in the world and the Americas, home hero Paola Espinosa won in front of her crowd the gold medal in the women's 10m platform with a total 367.40 points.With the absence in the event of Olympic champion Ruolin Chen, who will only compete in the 10m platform synchro, Espinosa wove her own competition, carried the Mexican flag to the top and had the national anthem replayed.

The 2009 World champion performed brilliantly, receiving marks from 8.5 to 9. Chinese coach Ma Jin's charge scored a 81.60 in her fourth dive, increasing her lead even more for a decisive win in the last round. The Mexican produced her best performance at home, having finished second in Dubai and fifth in Beijing (she did not attend the Moscow meet). The Tijuana meet, the last "race" prior the 2012 London Olympic Games, is a precious opportunity for the world's best divers to fine-tune their preparation ahead of this summer.

Silver went to Meaghan Benfeito (CAN) with a total 367.40 points while Nora Subschinski (GER) claimed the bronze with a total score of 337.10.

Women's 10m platform podium - credit: Christian Palma

On her victory, Espinosa said: "The result tonight makes me very calm and satisfied, my coach and I have worked hard. I'm happy, but I think the whole team did a great job, it was a big night for Mexico and I enjoyed the competition".

"I always dream of gold and train for it, this makes me think that things can and will keep working for the Olympics," she added.

Boudia and McCrory bag gold in 10m platform synchro

In a close final, featuring a high degree of difficulty, American pair David Boudia/Nick McCrory captured the gold medal in the men's 10m platform synchro with 453.57 points. Locals German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia - the "wonder boys" as they are known in the pool - offered Mexico the second medal of the day, a silver, scoring a total 451.23. Peter Waterfield and Thomas Daley (GBR) completed the podium with 446.88 points. The competition was thrilling, with the rest of duos from Ukraine, Russia and Germany.

David Boudia / Nick McCrory (USA) - credit: Christian Palma

Kai Qin (CHN), master of the 3m springboard

Diving powerhouse China claimed its first gold medal in Tijuana through Kai Qin, who delivered an outstanding performance well above the rest of the field in the men's 3m springboard, earning an unbeatable score of 530.30. The silver medal went to Russian great Ilya Zakharov with 490.70 points while France's Matthieu Rosset was happy with the bronze, totalling 472.50 points.

In a unique competition format which counts only the eight best divers in action, home favourite and Pan American champion Yahel Castillo made a good start, topping his semi final group but finished at the podium's door with 462.85. 

Kai Qin (CHN) - credit: Christian Palma

Zi He and Minxia Wu dominate 3m springboard synchro

In the women's 3m springboard synchro, China continued its dominance in Tijuana with Zi He and Minxia Wu winning the event for the straight fourth time.

Like in Dubai, Beijing and Moscow, the Chinese had no rivals in Tijuana, performing flawlessly their five dives for a winning score of 339.90. American pair Christina Loukas/Kassidy Cook picked up silver with 313.32 points while the bronze was reserved for Katja Dieckow and Uschi Freitag from Germany with a total 309.60.

Zi He / Minxia Wu (CHN) - credit: Christian Palma