Diving, Day 1: Wu and Shi win 3m synchro title
Olympic champion Minxia Wu won an unprecedented sixth world title when she partnered Tingmao Shi to China’s seventh successive triumph in the event at the FINA World Championships.
Wu, individual 3m springboard world champion in 2011 and Olympic champion in 2012, and reigning 1m springboard world title-holder Shi amassed 338.40 points from their five final dives to secure victory by more than 30 points ahead of newly crowned European champions Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape of Italy (307.80), with Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware of Canada coming through for bronze in the last round (292.08). Cagnotto and Dallape led narrowly after the first round but their Chinese rivals took over in the second and stretched inexorably away.
Wu and Shi had asserted their dominance in the preliminary round which opened proceedings at the Montjuic Municipal Pool, leading the way from the Italian pair.Wu, who previously claimed four golds in the 3m synchro with Guo and a fifth in 2011 with Zi He, with whom she shared Olympic glory at the 2012 London Games, has now extended her record haul to 13 World Championship diving medals.
Guo, who won the 3m synchro crown with Ting Li in place of Wu in 2005, claimed 11 world championship medals before her retirement in 2009 but 10 of those were gold, against Wu’s seven.The only women’s 3m synchro world championship title to have eluded China was the first, which was won by Russia’s Irina Lashko and Yulia Pakhalina on the introduction of the synchro events in 1998.
Gold medal winner: Minxia Wu/Tingmao Shi (CHN)
Wu: "These are my seventh World Championships, but this time I have a new partner, with whom I am training since the end of 2012. We gradually got better and this gold medal proves that our effort paid off. I am now the leader of the group, and I can bring them my experience."
"This is a very good start of the competition for us. I am familiar with this fantastic venue, as I performed here already in 2003. It’s a very nice facility, located on top of a hill, and it’s an iconic place, which hosted already the Olympics Games. When you compete here, you have a very nice feeling."
On retirement: "I know that most girls at my age normally think in other things in life, like forming a family and having children. I need more time to think about that."
On stardom status as Jingjing Guo: "No, I don’t feel a star like her; I train and participate in competitions in a very normal way!"
Women's 3m synchronised springboard final - credit: Giorgio Perottino/Deepbluemedia
Silver medal winner: Tania Cagnotto/Francesca Dallape (ITA)
Dallape: "In London, we were physically very strong and very well prepared, but we missed some luck [the Italian pair was fourth]. Here, perhaps less prepared, we performed better and we got the silver. The Chinese team is from another planet, they have an outstanding level."
"We believed from the beginning of the final that we could finish in the top-3, but we felt some stress in our last combination. But we kept our consistency and in the end it worked fine."
"Tania is obviously more famous than me, and I am always afraid to fail next to her, but also thanks to her example, I grew up a lot as an athlete."
Bronze medal winner: Jennifer Abel/Pamela Ware (CAN)
Abel: "It was very hard for us to get this medal. During the third and fourth dive, we had to fight a lot. It wasn’t our goal to get a medal in this event. We wanted to stay in the top-6, and to get some experience, as we are a new pair. It is Pamela’s first experience at this level, and I believe we started quite well!"
Tania Cagnotto/Francesca Dallape (ITA) - credit: Giorgio Perottino/Deepbluemedia
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