DWS 2014, London Day 1: China complete clean sweep in London
China claimed gold medals in all of the synchronised events on the first day of action at the London leg of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series.
The women’s 10m synchro was the first event up at the London Aquatics Centre and it saw World Champions Chen Roulin and Liu Huixia (CHN) secure the top place on the podium. Chen and Liu looked dominant throughout the final only moving out of the top spot in the second round. They finished the final with a score of 337.14 after securing 79.68 for their Back 2.5 Somersaults 1.5 Twists piked.
After the final Chen said: “Coming back to this pool after the Olympics I find the pool is quite familiar but also I have some new feelings because of the changes to the venue. Today I think the first two dives were not so good for us. But the performance here is much better than the one in Dubai."
Great Britain’s Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow secured their first synchro medal of the 2014 FINA/NVC Diving World Series with silver after scoring a total of 321.24.
Great Britain’s Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow
For Olympic bronze medallists Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito (CAN) the return to the London 2012 venue led to them once again standing on the podium with bronze after scoring 316.11.
“It feels great to come back to this pool,” Benfeito said. “It has changed but it brings back good memories.” Filion added: “the performance today was pretty good. It was our highest score this year. We’re working really hard in training to improve our individual dives and we do a lot more synchro now and I think it’s starting to reflect in competition.”
A new pair to the 2014 FINA/NVC World Series dominated the men’s 10m final with China’s Yang Jian and Aisen Chen winning the gold medal with a score of 479.13. The pair scored an impressive 109.80 for their required dives and went into the optional round in the lead. Their best dive came in the final round and they secured 101.01 points for their Front 4.5 Somersaults tucked – the best score for that dive by any pair in the final.
“We have dived together for a year which isn’t a long time to perfect a partnership so there is still a lot to improve on,” Jian said. “But we are quite happy with the result.”
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Bondar and Maxym Dolgov took the silver with a score of 448.26 points and World Champions Sascha Klein and Patrick Hausding (GER) won the bronze after finishing with 425.82 points.
Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao (CHN) looked in strong form throughout the final of the women’s 3m synchro to win their gold with a total score of 332.40. The pair finished with the Back 2.5 Somersaults piked to score 78.30 points which was the highest scoring dive by any pair in the final. After the final Wu commented: “I think the performance was so so. We will try every aspect of training and competition to try to improve. We hope to compete at the World Cup in Shanghai and we will try our best to win the gold medal.”
He Chong and Qin Kai (CHN)
Italians Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape came from fourth place to take silver with a score of 306.90. Great Britain’s Hannah Starling and Becky Gallantree won the bronze in their second outing as a pair with a score of 302.88.
Olympic bronze medallists He Chong and Qin Kai (CHN) returned to London 2012 Olympic venue looking to improve on their result from their last and they impressed the British crowd throughout the final. They scored nines consistently throughout the final but had to accept a small dropped dive in the last round on their way to the gold medal. He and Qin’s best dive came in the third round when they scored 90.78 points for the Front 2.5 Somersaults 2 Twists piked. They completed the final with 469.41 points.
“London is the third of six legs of the World Series and because of the injury here is the first time we’ve competed together,” He said. “So we have shown our best performance but we hope in the future we will be able to win more medals in the World Series.”
Silver was claimed by Oleksandr Gorshkovozav and Illya Kvasha (UKR) with a score of 443.43. “Coming back to London is mixed because here at the Olympics we were fourth but that was with another partner,” Kvasha said. “But now I understand it is a new competition and new year and I have a new partner this year and we have made a medal here. It’s a good partnership but we’ve only dived for three months together. Of course everybody wants gold but the Chinese we so good today.”
Bronze went to Russia’s Evgeny and Illya Zakharov with a score of 442.62.
(Courtesy of Gemma Field, Senior Communications Officer at British Swimming)