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DWS 2013, Dubai day 3: China finishes with a gold rush

Diving World Series

Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - China returned to the top of the podium tonight to take out the final two events on the competition programme at this year’s FINA/Midea Diving World Series Dubai. After the shock result last night when China was beaten into third in the men’s 3m springboard finals, China reasserted themselves as the world leaders with commanding performances in both  the men’s and women’s 10m platform finals.

In the women’s final, the dual world and Olympic champion Chen Ruolin continued her spectacular form, taking her second gold of the meet to go with the 10m synchro gold she won with partner Liu Huixia on Thursday. As is customary for her, Roulin took the lead with her first dive and produced another consistent display to finish the competition with 403.85, 21.95 points clear of second placed Meaghan Benfeito (CAN).

Benfeito achieved the consistency she had been aiming for with every dive scoring in the 70s, finishing with 381.90, taking her second silver for the competition after finishing in the same position with partner Roseline Filion in the 10m synchro.

Benfeito was delighted with the result, saying: “I am feeling more confident, after the qualifying I re-set myself and just focussed on the corrections my coach suggested. My goal now is to get 400 points, if I do that I should be able to win. I have had a great time here, I love it here in Dubai and this pool is amazing”.

It was a tight tussle for the bronze with Brittany Broben of Australia sitting in third position until a superb 407C inward 2 ½ somersault tuck from Russia’s Yulia Koltunova in Round 4 which topscored for the competition, pushed Broben into fourth. Broben produced the best dive of the round in the final round, finishing with 369.80, but fell short of a medal by 1.75 points, with Koltunova finishing with 371.05. Like Ruolin and Benfeito, Koltunova’s bronze was also her second after placing third in the 10m synchro.

Malaysia’s Pandelela Pamg Rinong finished fifth with 353.50, and Canada’s Roseline Filion finished sixth with 289.15.

The women's 10m podium: Benfeito (CAN, 2nd), Chen (CHN, 1st), Koltunova (RUS, 3rd)

The men’s final was a breathtaking display of world class diving which delighted the crowds. China’s Aisen Chen took the early lead, with a brilliant 102.60 for his first dive, a 6245D back armstand double with 2 ½ twists to take a 19.40 point lead, which he then extended with his second dive which earned him three tens for a total of 95.70.

A perfect scoring dive from Chen’s team mate Lin Yue in round 3 wowed the appreciative audience and earned him 108.00 for his 207B 3 ½ back somersault pike. This pushed Lin to within 5 points of Chen. Lin continued to apply the pressure, taking the lead in the fourth round and despite a near perfect dive from Chen in the final round which scored him 108.00, he could not catch Lin, and finished on 571.50 to Lin’s 586.90.

A delighted Lin Yue said later: “I am satisfied with my results here (two golds) but there is still some room for improvement. I want to do better, especially in Barcelona (2013 FINA World Championships in July)”.

The race for the minor medals saw some spectacular performances with Ivan Garcia of Mexico  topscoring in round two to move into third place. However he faltered badly on his next dive, scoring only 34.85 which put him out of contention for a medal, finishing fifth with 451.15. 

Victor Minibaev of Russia started strongly and was in second position going into round three but the brilliant dive of Lin Yue pushed him into third. Consistent diving saw him hold on for the bronze with 538.05. Minibaev said later: “I have to work harder and train harder to beat the Chinese, but I have really enjoyed it here in Dubai”.

The men's 10m podium: Chen (CHN, 2nd), Lin (CHN, 1st), Minibaev (RUS, 3rd)

Artem Chesakov of Russia started slowly and despite his top scoring dive in round five he could not catch Minibaev and finished in fourth with 495.25.