DWS 2014, Windsor Day 1: Chinese pair wins two World Series gold on same day
After winning the 10m synchro on day 1 of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series in Windsor (CAN), Chinese divers Cao Yuan and Lin Yue repeated on the 3m springboard this evening to became the first divers to win two World Series gold medals on the same day. "It was amazing and we are feeling really good," said Lin after winning both the 3m and 10m synchro events.
"We credit our daily training together, non stop and 7 days a week" said Cao. Cao has won eight World Series medals in 2014. The record for a single season is 10, set by Russia's Victor Minibaev who collected one gold, seven silver and two bronze medals in 2013.
Scoring 460.08 points, the pair captured China’s 96th gold medal across 126 men’s events, winning 76% of the gold medals at World Series competitions. China has won 23 of the 32 events in men's 3m synchro in previous World Series editions.
German's Patrick Hausding and Stephan Feck now have eight medals in this discipline earning a silver medal today with a score of 434.53 points, just .18 ahead of the British divers.
The Germans were in third or tied for third in the first three rounds but according to Hausding "it felt great to jump back into the lead especially knowing how tough our competition is".
Hausding added that "we had a little mistake on the fourth round and that meant we had to come back with perfect dives." Teammate Feck added that it was "awesome to have finished with two strong dives." In March they collected their only victory in Dubai. Hausding won a silver medal earlier in the day in the 10m synchro event.
Great Britain's Chris Mears and Jack Laugher earned a spot on the podium today with 420.35 total points. Laugher reported that it was "a very good day for two guys that have only competed together three times."
"We really like this pool, it's a nice contrast to the Moscow pool, but at the end of the day we realise that everyone dives in the same pool." Laugher has received three bronze medals during the 2014 series including one individual podium in the pool built for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.
Mears reported that "I rolled my ankles earlier this winter and we still have some things to work on." The pair is the owner of bronze medals in back-to-back meetings in this discipline at World Series. In prior seasons Mears made four previous World Series podiums in 3m synchro, all with teammate Nicholas Robinson-Baker.
After reaching the podium in their first three World Series meets in the 3m synchro event Illya Kvasha and Oleksandr Gorshkovozav of Ukraine dropped into sixth in Moscow. In Windsor today their 420.24 points resulted in a fourth place finish.
On their final dive Jahir Ocampo and Rommel Pacheco of Mexico scored 84.36 points, second only to the Chinese in the final round. Their total of 410.49 placed them in fifth place. In previous 2014 World Series events they finished sixth in Beijing in their World Series debut as a pair in 3m synchro, before coming in fourth in Dubai and fifth in London and Moscow.
USA's Troy Dumais and Michael Hixon saved their best dive for last pulling themselves into sixth with a tally of 387.39. Tze Liang Ooi and Ahmad Amsyar Azman of Malaysia finished seventh scoring 386.52 points. This pair has taken part in eight World Series in this discipline, always finishing fifth twice, sixth three times or seventh four times.
He Zi and Wang Han (CHN) win 3m synchro by narrowest margins in World Series history
After some tense moments, He Zi and Wang Han of China won the women's 3m springboard synchro by the narrowest of margins, just 0.15 points ahead of the Canadians to keep their perfect record as a pair alive. Only one Chinese pair ever lost a 3m synchro event, and that happened more than four years ago. Synchro springboard is the most successful World Series event now for China, with 31 gold medals.
He and Wang remain undefeated in this discipline in the World Series, having won all eight events they have entered as a pair. He Zi said "we were really nervous because the competition was so close, but we didn't worry about the points." Wang said "Instead we focused on our dives and we believed that the points will take care of themselves." Wang has a perfect record with seven wins in as many appearances.
The only time a Chinese pair did not win was in Qingdao in 2010, where Anastasia Pozdniakova and Svetlana Filippova of Russia won. China's He Zi and Wu Minxia finished fourth that day. Either Wu Minxia or He Zi has (or both have) won the last 20 World Series events in this discipline since the 2010 Qingdao event. Since then, they have won 10 times together, Wu has won seven times partnered with Shi Tingmao and He Zi has won three times paired with Wang Han.
The immensely proud Canadian duo of Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware were in first place after their third and fourth dives but were unfortunately unable to hold onto their lead. The 0.15 difference to gold is the smallest margin in any discipline in World Series history. Their silver medal was Canada's second medal of the day following the earlier victory by teammates Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion in the 10m platform synchro event.
Abel's enthusiasm was evident: "We are really happy with the silver medal. It was a really great job and it was our personal best. I think we showed today that we can compete against the Chinese."
Last summer the Canadian pair captured a bronze medal in the 3m springboard synchro at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona. A few days later Ware won a second bronze medal in the 3m individual event. In March the pair won a silver medal at the Beijing edition of the World Series. Abel claimed six silver and two bronze medals. Abel and Ware earned two silver and one bronze medals in the last five events.
Women's 3m synchro podium - credit: Vaughn Ridley
Italy's Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape claimed their ninth medal as a pair scoring 308.10 points. Cagnotto offered her praise of the venue, "I really like this pool, it's very comfortable and its not too big. It's warm, the trampolines are very good and it offers some of the best conditions for the world series."
The Italians have medalled second-most as a pair behind only He Zi and Wu Minxia of China who have 10 but the gold medal continues to elude them.
Malaysia's Jun Hoong Cheong and Yan Yee Ng scored 297.60 points to finish in fourth place. The Ukrainian team of Anastasia Nedobiga and Olena Fedorova finished fifth collecting 294 points. This duo set their best result in Moscow earlier this month, finishing fourth.
Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree of Great Britain placed sixth with a total of 291.99 points. Madison Keeney and Annabelle Smith are the first Australian duo in this World Series discipline since April 2011. They scored 284.46 points for a seventh place finish.
Amanda Burke and Samantha Pickens of the USA competed for the second time as a pair in this discipline. In Moscow they placed ninth. The USA have reached nine podiums in 3m synchro ranking third after China's 30 titles and Russia's 14. The Mexican team of Arantxa Chavez and Laura Sanchez withdrew after the first dive.
Chinese Cao/Lin clinch men's 10m platform synchro title
Cao Yuan and Lin Yue captured China's fourth gold medal today, equaling the record each diver was a part of 5 years ago. In 2009 World Series competition Cao won two events paired with Zhang Yanquan and Lin won two events partnered with Huo Liang.
"We performed very well, we didn't make any mistakes and we are very satisfied with our performance," said the Chinese champion.
Yue explained that he and Yuan had become partners just this season. The divers handily won today's platform competition amassing a points total of 486.36 which is the sixth-highest in this discipline in World Series history.
Both Chinese divers have won a record 11 gold medals, including two gold medals this season in Beijing and Dubai. Each of the top-10 points totals has been set by a Chinese pair which included one of these athletes. Lin has 15 total gold medals at World Series, equaling Chinese teammate He Chong for second-most behind only Qin Kai (CHN, 33). Cao's win is his 12th gold, ranking him fourth all-time.
China has won the men's 10m Synchro for the 22nd time in the World Series out of 33 events, ironically this discipline is the least successful for China in World Series history. In the Moscow edition Chinese divers failed to win a men’s synchro event for the first time in a single World Series meeting.
Germany scoring 437.70 points claimed the silver, their fourth medal in this discipline this year. Patrick Hausding earned his 25th World Series medal, only the second male diver to do so, behind the 46 titles of Qin Kai of China.
Germany's Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein perform in men's 10m synchro - credit: Vaughn Ridley
Hausding insisted: "It's nothing new to be chasing the Chinese divers. We are always training to stay close to them, and we sometimes joke that second place is half of first place."
His German teammate Sascha Klein owns 19 titles and is sixth among male divers. Hausding and Klein have made a record 14 World Series podiums in men's 10m synchro.
Klein said: "All we can do is concentrate on our own dives and our collaboration. Once you are in the air you can't change your synchro, it's only about what you can do on your own dive."
Hausding lives in Berlin and Klein about two hours away in Dresden so they aren't able to train together very often.
Tallying 421.02 points Mexico's German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia collected the bronze medal, their eighth medals in World Series history as a pair. The duo have amassed a total of four gold medals, three silver and one bronze all in this discipline. In Moscow, they claimed their first gold medal outside Mexico.
Sanchez said: "We are happy with our medals but we wished we had more time to train before the competition. We have a lot of experience working together."
Oleksandr Bondar and Maxym Dolgov of Ukraine finished off the podium in fourth place with 408.36 points. In April the Ukrainian pair finished second in men's 10m synchro in London. Cuba's Jeinkler Aguirre and Jose Guerra finished in fifth place with 393.12 points. They are the first Cuban participants in the 2014 Diving World Series. In past seasons Guerra took home a total of 17 medals (14 in platform synchro, three in platform individual) and Aguirre earned 10 medals all in synchro platform. Italy's Francesco Dell'Uomo and Maicol Verzotto finished in sixth place scoring 367.23 points.
Local pair Benfeito / Filion claims first World Series gold in 10m synchro
After 11 silver and six bronze medals, Canadians Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion claim their first gold in the women's 10m platform synchro at the first World Series event held in a Canadian pool. Previously Benfeito and Filion finished in the top four in all 21 World Series they entered, reaching the podium 17 times. The Canadians have finished second 11 times, losing to a Chinese pair each time. The Chinese team of Xiaohui and Lian Jie dropped out of the competition after a three-way tie for the lead in the first round with Great Britain and Malaysia.
The Canadian duo were in fourth place after the first round and moved up to third after their second round dive. By the third round they had taken the lead and never looked back. The pair won a bronze medal in this event at the 2012 London Olympic Games and are currently ranked second in the world.
Montreal-based Benfeito said: "We know how to dive under pressure and we know how to train hard and work together. We have each been diving for 18 years, the last 10 with each other and we have been to two Olympic Games."
Filion hails from Laval, Quebec and recognised the opportunity presented to them; "When the Chinese pulled out they left the door wide open and we walked right through."
Filion continued: "A competitive World Series circuit is always a good preparation for the important World Cup. We will be diving with the same women on today's podium at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. We loved what we scored today, and anytime that we can score over 330 we will be very happy."
Canadian divers reached the podium for the 24th time in 32 women's 10m synchro events. Benfeito and Filion are the second and third divers with a complete medal set in this event, following their predecessors Heymans and Marleau.
First-time World Series gold medallists Roseline Filion / Meaghan Benfeito (CAN) - credit: Vaughn Ridley
Great Britain's Tonya Couch and Sarah Barrow claimed their second silver medal in the last three women’s 10m synchro events with a score of 308.58. "We walked in to the pool this week and we were amazed to see such a great venue," said Couch.
Bronze medallists Emily Boyd and Lara Tarvit gave Australia a 14th medal in 10m synchro, counting both men and women, as many as in all three other synchro events combined. Australia's last medal in this discipline was from Alex Croak and Melissa Wu in Guanajuato 2011. This was Boyd and Tarvit's second ever appearance at World Series following their sixth place in Edinburgh in 2013.
Australia's Boyd said: "We finally pulled it together and are having a better experience and finding this better competition perhaps than we expected."
Malaysia's Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Mun Yee Leong have made the podium in seven of their last eight World Series competitions in this discipline but would settle for a fourth place scoring 306.24 points.
Finishing in fifth place were Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco of Mexico scoring 303.48 points. In sixth place were Samantha Bromberg and Cheyenne Cousineau from the United States scoring 282.63 points.
This is the 250th medal event in World Series history including all disciplines and either gender. China has won 214, Mexico 14, Russia 8, Great Britain 6, Ukraine 3, Canada & Germany 3, Australia,2 Cuba & United States 1.