DWS 2014, Beijing day 3: China's Cao outruns Olympic champion Bo to win 10m gold
Seven perfect 10s and a full house, supporting home crowd, sealed Chinese Cao Yuan's victory in the men's 10m platform on day 3 of the first stop of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series 2014 at Beijing's National Aquatic Center (Water Cube). The rising talent proved too strong for teammate and reigning World champion Qiu Bo, and Olympic champion David Boudia (USA).
China swept seven out of the eight gold medals at stake during the three-day World Series, which featured 80 divers from 12 countries.
The Beijing native Cao took the lead in the final after his second dive, an Armstand Back 2 Somersaults 1.5 Twists, Free (6245D), earning 102.60 points and his first perfect 10 in front of the cheering home crowd. Cao never looked back as he scored four 10s for a total 109.15 in his fifth dive, a Forward 4.5 Somersaults, Tucked (109C) and 2 more perfect marks for his last dive, a Back 2.5 Somersaults 2.5 Twists, Piked (5255B), scoring 102.60.
Cao emerged victorious with a total 579.45 while Qiu, though he received a total 108.65 for his 4.1-DD dive, a Forward 4.5 Somersaults, Piked (109B), made some mistakes in the other dives, settling for second in 534.05.
London Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley of Great Britain had a strong start with his dive, an Armstand Back 3 Somersaults, Piked (626B) but went down to sixth place after his second, a Back 2.5 Somersaults 2.5 Twists, Piked (5255B), to eventually bounce back with a third-place finish, totalling 525.05. 2012 Olympic champion David Boudia (USA) took a disappointing sixth place.
Cao Yuan in the men's 10m platform - credit: Meng Yongmin
"I'm happy that I performed my training level and I learned a lot from this competition, especially from my teammate Qiu," said Cao, Olympic champion with Zhang Yanquan in the 10m synchro.
"Bo had some injuries during training but still managed to learn three new high DD dives. He is brave to use his new dives at the competition. I really need to increase my degree of difficulty soon," Cao said.
"I have competed in 10m platform individual and synchro, and springboard synchro. It is really a fruitful start for 2014," Cao added.
British star Daley said the Water Cube brought back great memories from the 2008 Beijing Olympics: "I love the Water Cube. Looking around, it seems smaller now since I am getting older and bigger."
"My second dive was not that good and I need to work more on it. It's my scary dive that I am struggling with it. I like reverse dives so I always put 307C as my last dive that I know I can it well," Daley said.
16-year-old Liu Huixia from China dominated the women's platform and clinched the title in 412.90, beating Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia (368.50) and Tonia Couch of Britain (357.90).
"I made a mistake in my 407C dive due to a bad start. It's not my first time win the individual gold at the World Series as I won one last year in Mexico," said Liu who claimed the 10m synchro gold at the last Worlds together with Chen Ruolin.