DWS 2014, Beijing day 1: Kuznetsov/Zakharov (RUS) capture 3m synchro gold
Led by four-time Olympic champions Wu Minxia and Chen Ruolin, China clinched three of the four synchro titles at stake on day 1 of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series 2014 at the National Aquatic Center (Water Cube) in Beijing on Friday March 14. The Russian pair Evgeniy Kuznetsov/Ilya Zakharov captured gold in the men’s 3m syncho springboard.
Women's platform star Chen Ruolin, who injured her left arm two days ago, brought more gold to her name, winning the 10m synchro platform with World championship partner Liu Huixia, scoring 347.52 points. Meaghan Benfeito/Roseline Filion of Canada finished second with 307.56 points while Mun Yee Leong/Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia took third in 303.96.
London Olympic silver medallists Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco of Mexico placed fifth with 300.27.
"I tumbled down on the training shuttle bus the day before yesterday. My left arm is swollen but I am really excited compete and forget about my injury," Chen said.
Beijing Olympic champion Lin Yue and London Olympic champion Cao Yuan were top qualifiers in the men's platform synchro as they topped the field with 466.32, ahead of World champions Patrick Hausding/Sascha Klein, second with 422.70 points, and Daniel Goodfellow/Mattew Lee of Britain, third with a total 387.66.
"Every competition is a challenge. I always enjoy it and learn from it. We had different partners in the previous Olympic Games and started to work together since the National Games last August. I hope I can go further and compete in more events with Lin in the future. He is more experienced," Cao said.
“It was not our best competition. We just started to train two days ago before the competition because Sascha (Klein) hurt his right shoulder and did not train for four weeks. We're satisfied that we got silver," Hausding said.
10m Synchro golden duo Chen Ruolin & Liu Huixia (CHN)
Local hopes Cao/Lin later in the afternoon made their debut in the 3m springboard synchro, taking second with 450.00 points behind 2012 Olympic silver medallists Evgeniy Kuznetsov/Ilya Zakharov from Russia, scoring 455.28 for the gold. Oleksandr Gorshkovozov/Illya Kvasha of Ukraine completed the podium.
“I’m glad that we won the gold though we dropped to seventh after the second round. We adjusted well and finally got the victory,” said Zakharov, current Olympic 3m springboard champion.
At 28, Wu Minxia continued her winning streak in the women's synchro springboard, totalling 330.60 points with World champion partner Shi Tingmao. Jennifer Abel/Pamela Ware of Canada and Aranixa Chavez/Laura Sanchez of Mexico placed second (305.16) and third (296.10), respectively. Italian duo Tania Cagnotto/Francesca Dallape finished at the podium's door.
“I have not competed since the Barcelona World Championships last year. I felt a little bit strange during the competition. I need more practice and more competitions to get used to it. I don’t think my age is a big problem. I just want to show my best and make my career as long as possible,” Wu said.