DWS 2013, Edinburgh day 3: Home hero Tom Daley captures gold in 10m platform
Edinburgh, GREAT BRITAIN - 18-year old Thomas Daley (GBR), the pride of a whole nation, delivered a magnificent performance, snatching the men's 10m platform title on the final day of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series held in Edinburgh (GBR) at the Royal Commonwealth Pool from April 19-21.
In the women's field, young Chinese diving prospects Yajie Sie and Huixia Liu finished 1-2 in the 10m platform, maintaining the golden standard of the sport's traditional powerhouse nation.
With multiple Olympic and World champion Ruolin Chen absent in Edinburgh, the battle for top honours would play out between Si and Liu, who had taken gold in the synchro same event on day 1.
If Liu bested teammate Si in the semi-final round, the latter was too strong in the final, exhibiting her prowess and comfortably winning the competition with a powerful 405.60 points. Si's Back 3.5 Somersault, Tucked (3.3 DD) was the highest-scoring dive of the final, at 89.10. Liu picked up silver with a total 374.40 points.
Mexico's Alejandra Orozco, 2012 Olympic silver medallist in the 10m platform synchro, bounced back from day one's slump where she finished last with partner Carolina Mendoza to win bronze with a total score of 367.45.
Speaking after the event, Orozco said: "My performance was good but I'd still like to improve for the next meets. I like this event because it helps me gain experience."
Alejandra Orozco (MEX) on the way to bronze - credit: Still Sports
With a consistent performance in all five rounds, local favourite Tonia Couch was the fourth best, totalling 350.45 points. Russian Yulia Koltunova, bronze medallist on day 1, placed fifth while 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong Pamg from Malaysia closed the ranking.
For the last and most popular event on the diving programme, the men's 10m platform, the crowd's biggest reception was reserved for home hero Thomas Daley, who proved himself tremendous in the final, amassing a total 542.15 points. The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist and 2012 World Series winner in the event was the only diver of the entire meet to receive perfect 10s for two of his dives, a Back 3.5 Somersault, Piked and a Reverse 3.5 Somersault, Tucked.
Following the event, Daley said: "Going into the final, there was quite a lot of pressure because it's a home crowd and I had to step up my mark and make sure that I got a medal. This gold gives me a boost going to training now because I've got to use that experience I've had there for the Barcelona World Championships."
"I love the Diving World Series event, it's great because it's really quick, the atmosphere is good and it's the top divers in the world putting on a show," he added.
Russian Victor Minibaev, who combined with Artem Chesakov to win the 10m platform synchro on day 1, finished strongly with 537.60 points, receiving marks of mostly 8.5 and 9.5 in five of his dives. The bronze went to Mexico's Ivan Garcia with a final score of 504.50.
The men's 10m platform podium in Edinburgh - credit: Still Sports
"I felt very good during the final, I was happy with my dives but I hope to perform even better in the Mexican legs of the Series and look forward to competing at home," Garcia said with a smile.
Anton Zakharov from Ukraine finished fourth with a total 484.25 points.