DWS 2014, Beijing day 2: Wang beats He (CHN) to snatch women's springboard title
China's World champion and top favourite He Zi missed her third dive, a Reverse 2.5 Somersaults, Tucked (305C), leaving the women's 3m springboard title to teammate Wang Han while Olympic and World champion He Chong overcame his slump in his dive, a Reverse 3.5 Somersaults, Tucked (307C) to emerge victorious in the men's 3m springboard here at Beijing's Water Cube on day 2 of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series.
He Zi, reigning World champion, led in the first two rounds before slipping on the board in her third dive (305C), earning a poor 49.50. Wang Han, bronze medallist in the women's 1m springboard at last year's Worlds, remained consistent throughout her five dives to capture the women's 3m springboard title in 368.55. He finished second with a total 356 points. Canadian Pamela Ware took third, scoring 339.75.
"I didn't expect to have such a bad start in my third dive. I tried to adjust my body after I felt my feet slipped out of the springboard. It is a lesson for me that I need to focused on the competition all the time. Maybe it's because this is my first event this year, I feel uncomfortable with the competition," He said.
It was the first time that 23-year-old Wang Han beat He on the world stage.
"I am happy with the gold, but I cannot celebrate my victory because there were some minor mistakes I made. I am not satisfied with my performance. I hope I can do better and go further in the next events," Wang said.
A missed dive (307C) in the men's springboard competition did not cost Chinese great He Chong the gold. He walked out from a 73.50 slump only to bounce back strongly in the last two dives, taking the gold with a grueling 528.80. China's synchro platform Olympic champion Lin Yue made a successful springboard debut, placing second with 494.95 while Illya Kvasha of Ukraine claimed the bronze in 484.80, edging Evgeny Kuznetsov of Russia by just 0.80.
Chong He (CHN) in the men's 3m springboard - credit: Meng Yongmin
"I had ups and downs during today's semi-finals and final. I felt rusty in the competition and since I am getting older, it's hard to recover from injury," He said.
Kvasha was happy with the bronze medal after the close battle with Kuznetsov. "It's good that I finally got the medal. It is the highest level of competition so far this year. I think I will get better after more events ahead of big meets this year, the FINA Diving World Cup and European Championships this summer," Kvasha said.