DWS 2014, Moscow Day 2: Second gold for Kuznetsov (RUS)
On the second day of the fourth leg of the FINA/NVC Diving Word Series, held in Moscow (RUS), everybody was awaiting the new Chinese-Russian battle, now on the men’s 3m springboard. After Kuznetsov/Zakharov first synchro triumph in their career on Day 1, it was interesting to watch if two Russians, both qualified for the final, could break Chinese hegemony one more time. It is Iliya Zakharov, who upset Qin Kai's bid for the gold at the 2012 London Olympics.
Unfortunately, Qin Kai pulled out from the tournament, after getting the second result in the morning session. He Chong finished seventh in the qualification but he didn’t replace his compatriot and teammate. There was no official information from the Chinese team regarding this situation.
In the decisive final, Iliya Zakharov placed only fourth (483.45) and denied the rumours circulating in the pool. “I think they are not scared, they are tired. This is the fourth stage of the Diving World Series."
"As for my performance, I’m quite pleased with it, keeping in mind that we are preparing for the major events. I missed some dives, but then I could concentrate and even get over 100 points in my last attempt."
Eventually, the fight for gold ended up in favour of Evgeny Kuznetsov (RUS), scoring a total 542.30. Ukrainian Iliya Kvasha took silver (530.35) while the bronze went to Great Britain’s Jack Laugher (512.45). In addition to the medal, Laugher got many good words from his opponents. Both the winner and the runner-up told the press that Laugher is a very talented and promising diver with high skills and perfect physical abilities.
Kuznetsov said after the victory ceremony: “I tried my best. I was in the lead throughout the final. But I’m disappointed with my fourth dive. I missed it again and again. In general everything was on a high level. Jack Laugher surprised me. The technique and level of difficulty of European divers improves more and more. That’s why we can take an advantage and be ahead of China."
On breaking the Chinese dominance, Kvasha said: “Maybe today we are on the podium because they didn’t compete, but yesterday Russia won the synchro event in a fair contest. We did the same last year."
Among women, Chinese duet He Zi and Wang Han were favourites on 3m springboard, taking gold and silver (377.40 and 362.40 points respectively) ahead of Italian Tania Cagnotto, scoring 353.00 points.
On winning a bronze medal, Cagnotto said: "I missed one dive, apart from that I’m satisfied with the scores. I’m happy with my today’s performance. Even Chinese girls didn’t dive as usual. They were a little bit tired too."
President Dr. Julio C. Maglione (centre) and Executive Director Mr. Cornel Marculescu (right),
accompanied by Mr. Alexey Vlasenko (left), President of the Russian Diving Federation
Tania Cagnotto, the 12-time European champion, added that her goal for the season is to win in Berlin: “The biggest event of the year, the European Championships will be in August. Dmitry Sautin of Russia and I are record holders in the total amount of titles. You never know how you will perform but I definitely want to win.”