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DWS 2014, Moscow Day 1: Russian pair wins gold with home crowd support

Diving World Series

The Moscow leg of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series started with a send-off ceremony for two-time Olympic champion Dmitry Sautin and two-time bronze Olympic medallist Gleb Galperin, who officially retired. On finishing their sports carreer, the legendary Russian athletes said: “We put our heart into diving and gave all our energy to this sport. We would like to thank our fans for supporting us. It’s a great pleasure to see so many spectators here today. We hope they will enjoy the competition”.

Actually, they were not disappointed. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Iliya Zakharov (RUS) took the lead after the fifth attempt on the men’s 3m springboard synchro and didn’t miss the chance in round six to celebrate an overall victory over He Chong and Qin Kai (CHN). Kuznetsov/Zakharov won gold with a total score of 463.86. Silver went to China (459.45 points), and bronze to Jack Laugher and Christopher Mears of Great Britain (421.71).

Zakharov, delighted with his performance and with the support of the public, said post-event: “We understood it was a big responsibility. But we like to compete, we are doing it for our own pleasure. Besides we had a goal – to beat China."

"We kept focused, did our six dives – our best one – and won. The total score was also pretty good. Previously we could have approximately 450 points. Now the scores are higher (460-470). It means we’ve become more stable," said Zakharov.

First day of action in Moscow

On the women’s 3m synchro, Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao (CHN) successfully confirmed Chinese dominance in diving by winning with a total score of 330.90. Although Russia’s Maria Polykova and Kristina Ilinykh were the subject of much debate, their silver medal (311.10 points) surprised everyone in the pool including the young Russian athletes. Bronze went to Cheong Jun Hoong and Ng Yan Yee of Malaysia (305.40).

In the morning session finals, Victor Minibaev with his new partner Roman Izmaylov (Artem Chesakov is recovering after injuries) won the bronze medal on 10m synchro with a total score of 434.10. Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez (MEX) were victorious with an overall 446.76 points. Silver went to Chen Aisen and Yang Jian of China (444.66 points).

Victor Minibaev was satisfied with the result and said: “I think it was quite good for our debut as a team. We had only three days to train together. We are both experienced divers so it was enough to make a synchro competition. But the individual performance was not so successful."

On winning gold, German Sanchez said: “The competition was very tough. We had strong rivals. We didn’t expect we could win. We missed our first attempt, but then managed to calm down and focus on the other dives. We realised that we could win, so it was a great sensation when we effectively took gold!”

The men's 10m platform synchro podium

Among women, Chen Ruolin and Liu Huixia (CHN) captured gold, scoring 332.28. Choe Kyong Un/Song Nam Hyang (PKR) and Pamg Pandelela Rinong/ Leong Mun Yee (MAS) placed second and third with an overall total of 314.82 and 310.26 respectively.