YOG DV Qual Event, Day 1: China and Mexico dominate in Guadalajara
The fresh faces of diving gathered in Guadalajara (MEX) for the FINA Diving Qualifying Event for the Youth Olympic Games, which will be organised in Nanjing (CHN) from August 16-28, 2014, revealing to the world diving's next generation of stars.
Diving powerhouses China and Mexico dominated the first day of competition, where the competitors showed their talent to earn a spot for their respective country at the upcoming Nanjing YOG but also leaving an impression for the 2017 FINA World Championships in Guadalajara.
Participants met the requirement to display their mandatory dives, where they showed elegance and technique. Then they delighted the audience with dives with free degree of difficulty, where they exhibited promising prowess.
In the women's 10m platform, Xiaohui Huang (CHN) showed her class by winning the gold medal with 487.95 points. Alejandra Orozco (MEX) won the silver medal with 480.35 and Ingrid Oliveira (BRA) settled for a bronze-medal finish with a total 411.55.
Post-event, Xiaohui Huang said: "The level was very high, we all dream to make it to our first Olympic Games. In China, the sport is very important and we are very pleased to host the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing."
With a big smile, Alejandra Orozco recalled that in London, she was the youngest Olympic medallist in Mexican history - a silver in the women's 10m platform synchro with Paola Espinosa.
At 17, she's now writing her own individual story as an Olympic hopeful: "I feel good to win at home, with my family and friends in the stands. The medal in London is over, now I have to work to earn my place in each event."
Ingrid Oliveira of Brazil, on her bronze, said: "I'm training because I want to go to Nanjing. The bronze is a very good result for me, it's the beginning of a great dream."
The women's 10m platform podium in Guadalajara - credit: Refugio Ruiz
In the men's 3m springboard final, Rodrigo Diego (MEX) took out the gold medal, totalling 630.75 points. The Mexican create a sensation at home, clinching his first international award, delivering a brilliant performance. Hao Yang (CHN) and Nikita Shleikher (RUS) tied for second with 571.75.
Diego, whose mother fell ill and suffered a stroke six months ago, was able to perform his best in Guadalajara.
"My medal is dedicated to my mom and my coaches because it is not just my job," said Rodrigo Diego, who was inspired by home heroes Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez to start diving.