Diving, Day 9: Golden 10m triumph for Qiu
Bo Qiu retained his 10m crown in spectacular style, defeating Olympic gold medallist David Boudia of the USA to bring China their ninth diving title out of 10 on offer at the FINA World Championships. Qiu uncorked two dives worth more than 100 points as well as a barrage of perfect 10 marks from the judges in a master class from the 10m tower. Qiu, the first man to retain the world platform crown since Russia's Dmitry Sautin in 1998, began inauspiciously in the first round after a shaky semi-final but only two of his six final dives turned out to be worth less than 99 points.
Qiu, Olympic silver medallist behind Boudia at the London Games, amassed a colossal 581.00 points to win by a vast 63.60 points from Boudia (517.40). The American dived consistently but had to settle for the silver behind Qiu for the second successive World Championships. Germany's Sascha Klein, who shared gold with Patrick Hausding in the 10m synchro, the only title to escape China at the Montjuic Municipal Pool, finished third with 508.55 points, repeating the world bronze he achieved in 2011. Tom Daley of Great Britain, the 2009 world champion ahead of Qiu, held third spot for two rounds in the middle of the competition but faded to sixth (470.60). Olympic bronze medallist Daley has been plagued by injury and said he had been happy just to make the final. It was China's fifth men's 10m win in 15 editions of the championships.
Boudia led after the first round from Klein, with Qiu equal fifth with Daley, 20 points behind the American. Qiu leaped to second in the second round with a magnificent armstand dive which netted 99.75 points and left him just 5.10 adrift of Boudia. Qiu hit the front with a reverse 3-1/2 somersaults which drew perfect 10s from five of the seven judges and a score of 99.00, a total matched by Daley's back 3-1/2 somersaults which hoisted the Briton to third. Qiu surpassed himself in the fourth round with his back 3-1/2, which garnered six 10s and an astronomical mark of 108.00 points and propelled him almost 34 points ahead of Boudia. Qiu earned an even bigger score - 110.70 - for a huge 4.1 degree of difficulty forward 4-1/2 somersaults piked which put him more than 50 points clear of second-placed Boudia in the fifth round. It was Qiu's third world gold medal from the platform - individual and synchro - to go with his 10m and 10m synchro golden double in 2011. It was his third successive individual 10m medal at the championships, following silver in 2009 and gold in 2011.
Gold medal winner: Bo Qiu (CHN)
On being the same podium as in Shanghai 2011: “I didn’t realise that! I felt a bit tired going into this final (the semis were quite difficult!), but at the end of the day, I could perform well and get the gold."
“In Beijing, I got defeated by a small margin, but it doesn’t mean it was a failure. I was able to rebound and train harder since then."
On High Diving: “No, I won’t try it, but I will definitively watch them. It takes a lot of courage to do that!”
Silver medal winner: David Boudia (USA)
“After getting the Olympic gold, I had a difficult year: I was not training so much, and I was enjoying life a bit more. But this medal here in Barcelona is quite inspiring and announces a very competitive quadrennial until the Rio Games in 2016."
“Diving is my hobby, but it’s also my job! It’s what I do, but it’s not who I am. Since London, I got married and I finished many other things I had pending… I had other priorities, and now I am back to my job!”
On Daley’s injury: “Diving is a sport where you put your body under a lot of pressure. I didn’t realise his injury until after the semis. But even like that, he attracts a lot of people to watch diving. He is doing a lot for our discipline. He proves that we are all showmen. Today, Bo did the best show!”
On High Diving: “I will remain down, at 10m… But I will cheer my teammates from USA. You must be totally out of your mind to do that. However, if you analyse well, you’ll see that they do pretty much the same dives we do at 10m; they just do an additional somersault or twist to be able to enter feet first in the water."
Bronze medal winner: Sascha Klein (GER)
“My season was a bit disturbed by some injuries, and I had to redefine my dive list. I then worked my dives very hard and the effort paid off today."
“I take every competition step by step, I try always to do my best, and once I am diving in the final I aim for the medal. That’s what I did today."
On High Diving: “I will never try that! It’s way too high!”
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