DWS 2013, Dubai day 1: China starts with golden display
Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - The seemingly invincible Chinese diving team kicked off their FINA/Midea Diving World Series Dubai 2013 campaign this morning in their usual manner, taking the first two gold medals on offer in convincing fashion.
The first session on the competition program provided a breathtaking display of world class diving, much to the delight of several hundred schoolchildren who came to the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex to see multiple world and Olympic champions in action.
The first event on the programme was the women’s 10m synchro platform final and the Chinese team of Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia were hot favourites. Even though they are a new pairing they took gold in the first round of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series in Beijing last weekend, establishing themselves as the team to beat. They did not disappoint, taking the lead with their first dive and never letting it slip, finishing with 353.04, their last two dives both scoring 83.52.
The pair have only been diving together for two months, and Chen Roulin later said: “We are feeling better together now, as we get to know each other better. We are learning to understand each other more”.
Ruolin Chen and Liu Huixia (CHN)
Their biggest threat was from Canada’s diminutive duo of Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion, who performed solidly, eventually finishing with the silver medal, with 331.44, 21.60 points behind the Chinese. The Canadians were very happy with their performance, Benfeito saying: “This was a stronger performance than in Beijing, there our dives were shakier individually and here we were much better synchronised”. “We had three months off after the Olympics so we’re happy with this”.
The pair, who took bronze in London, are aiming for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Filion said: “With a lot of hard work and training we can take the gold”.
After a slow start sitting in fifth place for the first two dives the Russian team of Yulia Koltunova and Natalia Goncharova put in three dives scoring in the 70s to finish with the bronze with 315.36.
Malaysia’s Pandelela Pamg Rinong and partner Mun Yee Leong finished in fourth with 307.26 after sitting in third for the first three rounds. Rebecca Gallantree and Jenny Cowen from Great Britain finished in fifth with 288.42, ahead of Mexico’s Alejandra Orozco and Carolina Mendoza who couldn’t match their fourth place performance in Beijing and finished sixth with 281.28.
The second event of the morning was the men’s 10m synchro platform and again the Chinese dominated from the outset. Lin Yue and Chen Aisen have only been diving together for one month and were not as happy with this performance as they were with their Beijing result. “We did better in Beijing, we had a few mistakes in synchro today and need to train together more” said Lin Yue.
Men's 10m platform synchro podium in Dubai
Their second dive (401B, Inward dive pike) scored the first tens of the competition from both of the execution judges. Their top scoring dive of the day was 99.90 for a 109C (Forward 4 1/2 tuck), which gave them an unassailable lead and saw them finish with 490.95, 46.83 points ahead of the Russian team of Victor Minibaev and Artem Chesakov.
While finishing with a higher total pointscore here, the Russians were happier with their performance in Beijing.
“This is a new partnership and we are still getting comfortable with each other” said Minibaev, “we still need to put more work in”.
The Cuban pair of Jose Antonio Guerra and Jeinkler Aguirre finished with 417.39, 20.22 points more than in Beijing, a result that pushed them into the bronze medal position ahead of Ivan Garcia and Adan Zuniga of Mexico, who finished with 407.16
“We are delighted to see these amazing divers competing again in Dubai” said Ahmed Al Falasi, President of the UAE Swimming Federation. “It is exciting to see world class diving again, and we look forward to enjoying the competition over the next two and a half days” he added.