DWS 2014, Dubai day 1: Three gold out of four for China
Three gold medals out of four. This was the outcome for the powerful Chinese team in the inaugural day of the second leg of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series, taking place in the impressive Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai (UAE) from March 20-22, 2014. With four synchronised finals, Germany was stronger in the men’s 3m springaboard, while China displayed its supremacy in the women’s events and in the men’s 10m platform synchro.
With a long tradition of victory in the women’s 10m synchro (27 victories out of 28 finals contested in the history of the World Series), China (Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia), did not disappoint, getting the gold in 337.56, more than 20 points in front of the silver medallists from Malaysia (Mun-Yee Leong and Pandelela Rinong Pamg), who finished in 314.64. The bronze went to Canadians Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion (309.09). Chen and Liu have won all three World Series competitions that they have entered together in this discipline, in Beijing (2013 and 2014) and Dubai (2013). Moreover, with her 22nd podium, Chen equalled the World Series record for most podium finishes in any women's discipline, held by He Zi (CHN) in 3m springboard. Rinong and Leong had also made the podium in their last five World Series competitions in this discipline. They came second in 2012 in their only previous appearance together in Dubai. Finally, Benfeito and Filion have been previously in the top four in all 19 World Series competitions they have entered in this event, including 15 podiums. They have come second 11 times, losing to a Chinese pair each time, including 10 times to a Chinese pair that included Chen. The Canadian pair admitted “some mistakes in the fourth round that determined the final placing”.
In the men’s 10m platform synchro, China was also the team to beat (18 victories in 28 participations overall), and in the end of the competition Lin Yue and Yuan Cao won their 10th World Series event each in this discipline. They have each won eight World Series events with other partners and one with each other (last week in Beijing). Concluding in 475.32, they were well ahead of Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein, from Germany, who scored 437.76. The bronze (380.52) went to Daniel Goodfellow and Matthew Lee, from Great Britain. For Hausding and Klein this represented their 13th medal in the event, while the British pair repeated the ranking of the first leg of the Series in Beijing (CHN).
“It was a challenging final for us, but in the end we managed to get the gold. We start now preparing for the upcoming competitions”, confessed the Chinese duet after their successful effort.
Patrick Hausding was pleased with the level of the competition, but recalled that the “execution of the dives was not perfect. We need to concentrate harder for the next events”. As to Matthew Lee, he said that the team “hadn’t much time to train since the previous meet in Beijing”, but hopes to upgrade the colour of the medal in the home leg in London.
The 10m synchro men's medallists
In the evening session, China’s tradition also prevailed. Before Dubai, either Wu Minxia or He Zi (or both) had won the last 17 World Series events in this discipline since the 2010 Qingdao event. Since then, they have won 10 times together, Wu has won four times with Shi Tingmao and He has won three times with Wang. At the Hamdan Sports Complex, Wu and Shi got the gold in a convincing 335.40 points, while Mexico’s Arantxa Chavez/Laura Sanchez were second in 286.50. It was their second podium together, after the bronze in Beijing (CHN). Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape (ITA), who had missed the podium by 0.30 points last week in China, got the bronze in 279.30. “Even if the third dive was not very good, we improved since the first event in Beijing and we are on the podium”, considered Cagnotto. Jennifer Abel/Pamela Ware (CAN) had made the podium in the last three World Series competitions they have entered in this discipline, but finished only fifth in Dubai.
In what was perhaps the most thrilling final of the day, Patrick Hausding and Stephan Feck (GER) managed to break the Chinese supremacy, concluding the six-dive decisive round with a total of 432.12 points. The German pair was the most regular of the final, while Cao Yuan and Lin Yue (CHN) had some difficulties with their third combination. They finished second in 423.93, preventing China to get their 22nd title in this event in the history of the World Series. This defeat for the Asian delegation represented their fifth loss in a row, the longest run of consecutive non-Chinese victories in any World Series discipline in either gender. China came second on all five occasions. Moreover, Patrick Hausding now has the most men's World Series podium places (23, G2-S10-B11) of all non-Chinese divers in all disciplines. The bronze went to Ukrainians Oleksandr Gorshkovozav and Illya Kvasha (416.70).
“In my second attempt of the day, I finally managed to get the gold. In the morning, the Chinese pair was too strong in the 10m platform, but we remained very concentrated in the afternoon and did very few mistakes. It is a great sensation to get the title against a solid team like Cao and Lin”, Hausding considered after the medal ceremony.
All the FINA/NVC Diving World Series action can be followed through FINA TV and the Live Info Feed.