DWS 2014, Windsor Day 3: China's Cao Yuan earns 10 perfect 10s in platform event
China's gold medal winner Cao Yuan earned a total 10 perfect 10s in his assault of the 10m platform event in Windsor, on Day 3 of the fifth leg of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series 2014.
The 19-year-old claimed his third gold medal in a single World Series meet. With the two synchro gold medals he won on Friday Cao becomes the first diver in World Series history to achieve this feat.
Cao was modest when responding to a question about the 10s he scored today: "We train very hard and if one of our competitors earned a medal we would be very happy for them, but I don't think we would be envious of them and we hope they would not be envious of us."
"Today I wanted to prove things only to myself so my highest goal was to be perfect."
Cao scored 586.20 points in today's competition. He scored four 10s in two different dives: a Reverse 3.5 Somersault, Tucked and a Back 3.5 Somersault, Piked and he received two 10s in his final dive, a Back 2.5 Somersault with 2.5 Twists. He was in fifth place after his first dive, and moved up to second place behind his teammate Qiu Bo with a strong second dive. Cao's third dive put him in the lead and no one was able to catch his point tally of 586.20.
Cao earned his ninth medal across all disciplines in 2014, the most of all divers this year. Cao is on track to break the record for most medals in a single World Series season next week in Monterrey.
Russia's Victor Minibaev who finished fifth today holds the mark of 10 medals which he established in 2013. This is only Cao's third 10m platform competition in World Series competition. The first two were both in Beijing. In 2011 he came second behind teammate Qiu and in 2014 he won pushing Qiu into second.
Teammate Qiu Bo also collected three perfect 10s but finished 28.40 points behind his teammate to remain winless in this event. The 21-year-old athlete believes that "getting a 10 from a judge is very difficult. Every athlete aspires for that perfection and if someone receives a 10 I would be very happy for him."
This is Qiu's third silver medal. He finished second twice behind Cao in Windsor and also in Beijing this season. Qiu made two appearances in this discipline in 2014, again finishing second behind teammate Cao in Beijing and behind Russia's Minibaev in Dubai. Prior to this season, Qiu had a winning streak of 11 World Series events in 10m platform. No other diver has more than six wins.
Tom Daley (GBR) - credit: Vaughn Ridley
Sascha Klein's bronze medal gives Germany a seventh World Series medal in 2014. Klein seemed happy to be on the podium and offered this thoughts about his performance: "Although I made a big mistake in the third round, I kept fighting and came back strong. It was a tight race for the medal but I am glad that I go it."
Klein offered his praise for the Chinese divers who beat him today: "Their performance was amazing! I love how they dove."
In 2012 Germany collected 12 medals. This is Germany’s third medal in Windsor and Klein’s second of the weekend. Klein has made 11 finals in 13 appearances in this discipline. He missed two finals in Beijing and in London this year. Klein has collected three medals in 13 appearances.
Tom Daley of Great Britain performed a stellar first dive scoring 94.50 to capture an early lead. He found himself in fourth place after his second dive. His third and fourth dives were strong enough to bring him back into third place but his final two dives did not serve him well. Daley ended in fourth place with a points tally of 485.35.
Russia's Victor Minibaev scored 473.00 points for a fifth place finish. He won the 10m platform event in Dubai and placed third in Moscow but could manage only a fourth place in Beijing and a sixth place in London. He is the only diver with five out of five finals in this event this season and is on a run of 10 straight finals made. His last missed final was Tijuana 2012.
Jeinkler Aguirre finished in sixth place with a score of 451.60 points. Aguirre makes his first 10m platform appearance since April 2009. His best finish is fourth, on three total occasions in 2008 and 2009.
China's Huang wins 10m platform in her individual World Series debut
The first ever FINA/NVC Diving World Series meet in Canada drew to an end. The brand new International Aquatic and Training Centre has likely inspired veteran divers to great performances and perhaps a few young people to take a plunge from a diving board in the near future.
As always, the Chinese have been dominant winning seven of the eight contests but the Canadian team celebrated a gold medal in the women's 10m synchro platform and a podium finish in every women's event. Athletes from Great Britain, Germany and Ukraine made this weekend one of the most competitive in World Series history and surely raised the level of each others performances.
China's Huang Xiaohui won the women's 10m platform with a 440.75 points total in her individual World Series debut. Huang posted the fifth-highest score in the history of the World Series discipline, and the highest since April 2011.
Huang won every one of the five rounds today and offered this perspective on her performance: "Yes it was very good, but I think there are still things I can improve on like the smoothness of my moves and my precision."
Liu Huixia finished in second place with 395.40 points earning a silver medal. Liu claims her eighth World Series medal in 2014 across all disciplines which equals her personal best from 2013. She was beaten for the second time in her last three 10m platform competitions. Previously she lost only one of 14 other World Series appearances in all disciplines combined.
Asked about her diving today Liu replied: "Compared to myself it was not the best, but some of my moves were of high quality. Once you land your dive you automatically know if your moves are precise."
Sarah Barrow (GBR) - credit: Vaughn Ridley
Canada's Roseline Filion was aided in her quest to reach the podium by the sell out crowd of vocal and supportive spectators perhaps strategically placed on the pool deck when the upper deck gallery was closed after reaching its maximum capacity. Filion scored 365.40 points to fulfill Canada's mission to earn a medal in all women’s events this week in Windsor. Filion's bronze medal in the women's 10m platform gives Canada a 12th medal in World Series in 2014, extending the nation's record for medals in a single season.
Filion spoke about the weekend's events in Windsor: "It was an incredible experience especially because it was the first time a World Series event has been in Canada. The crowd was cheering and gave us a great deal of energy and that was an amazing feeling."
Malaysia's Pandelela Rinong Pamg finished in fourth place with a score of 340.00 points. In the last eight World Series meets, Rinong competed in both the synchro and the individual platform competition. She collected at least one medal in each of these eight. On Friday she placed fourth in 3m Synchro Springboard but without a medal today her streak is broken.
Great Britain's Sarah Barrow finished in fifth place today reaching 338.80 points. Barrow competed in her second final and has improved on her sixth place in Dubai earlier this year.
Paola Espinosa of Mexico is the only female diver with one or more medals in each of the four disciplines in World Series but in Windsor she would finish sixth scoring 334.75 points.
China has won the last 10 World Series events in women's 10m platform since the start of 2013, courtesy of three different divers: Liu Huixia has four titles, while Si Yajie and Chen Ruolin each have three titles.