YOG DV Qual Event, Day 2: Olympic hopefuls leave strong impression
The future of diving bodes well. That's what demonstrated the young talents, and stars of tomorrow, who took part in the FINA Diving Qualifying Event for the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games 2014, held in Guadalajara (MEX) from March 1-2.
Mexico grabbed another gold, thanks to 2013 Pan American Junior champions Dolores Hernandez in the women's 3m springboard and Andres Villarreal in the men's 10m platform.
Thousands of spectators filled the stands of the Guadalajara Pan American Aquatics Complex for the two-day event, to applaud the performances of local hopes and rising talents from 21 countries.
The Mexican team picked up three golds and one silver, out of the four titles on offer. China walked away with one gold and two silvers. Russia finished with a silver and a bronze. Ukraine (silver), USA (bronze) and Brazil (bronze), with one medal each.
On Day 2, Dolores Hernandez (MEX), 16 and fourth in the 1m springboard at the Barcelona Worlds in 2013, dominated the 3m springboard event, her programme containing the highest degree of difficulty.
Scoring 477.20 points, Hernandez captured the gold, ahead of Shengping Wu (CHN), second with 468.30, and Leydon-Mahoney Gracia (USA), third with 386.70. Colombia's Carolina Murillo finished at the podium's door.
Among men, local Andres Villarreal triumphed in the 10m platform final. Second-placed before entering the final, the talented diver remained consistent throughout the entire final, receiving 8.5s and 9s from the judges.
Villarreal finished with a total 581.25 points and shared the podium with Maxym Dolgov from Ukraine, second with 517.35, and Russian Alexandr Belvtcev, third with 501.05.
Credit: Alejandro Acosta
On his victory, Villarreal said: "It is the first step of something big in my career. I feel that I competed with intelligence, despite the pressure in the beginning. I missed one dive but did not let it go. I learned that I should never be too confident because there are very strong competitors such as the Russian and Ukrainian."
Dolores Hernandez (MEX) looked happy with her gold: "It is a challenge for me to go to Nanjing. It would be a stepping stone on the road to Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, I will do all I can to get those Olympic spots".
China's Shenping Wu (CHN), who represents the country's next generation of divers, said: "We have all trained hard to prepare the qualifying event in Guadalajara. China is hosting the YOG, the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Federation are preparing to stage the best Youth Olympics and make all the countries feel at home."
On the atmosphere, Leydon-Mohaney Gracia (USA) said: "I enjoyed the competition. The Mexican public was very supportive to all divers. I am impressed with the level of competition".
Alexandr Belevtcev (RUS), said : "I liked the pool, Mexico is a beautiful country and I want to return for the 2017 FINA World Championships in Guadalajara. I have to train hard to get a gold medal. I have to try harder, practice more and throw more dives."