Zhou Cindy, FINA Media Committee Member from China

The host divers clinched the four gold medals on offer in the synchro events, while Ukraine took two silvers, Great Britain one silver and one bronze on the first day of the FINA/NVC Diving World Series 2016 in Beijing (CHN) on Friday March 11.

China’s Liu Huixia/Si Yajie, who teamed up only three days ago, led the women's 10m synchro platform by earning 334.68 points. Tonia Couch/Lois Toulson of Great Britain came second with 317.46 points and Mun Yee Leong/Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia third with 311.70.

Liu, who originally paired with four-time Olympic champion Chen Ruolin and claimed victory at last’s month World Cup, revealed that Chen will be absent from the first two legs of the World Series.

"Chen will take a short break and start to compete the international meet from the third leg of the World Series. I am satisfied with our performance with Si today, " Liu said.

Women 10m synchro podium ©Wang Xin

World champions Lin Yue/Chen Aisen (CHN) showed their consistence in the men's 10m synchro platform and won with 477.15 points, beating Maksym Dolgov/Oleksandr Gorshkovozov of Ukraine (426.21) and Thomas Daley/Daniel Goodfellow of Great Britain (420.15).

"We performed better than we did at the World Cup. I am happy that we continued our good form and good synchronisation," said Lin, Beijing 2008 Olympic champion in the same event.

For Tom Daley (GBR), all the travels and efforts have paid off since he changed last October for new partner Daniel Goodfellow.

"The World Cup was our first international meet since we started to train together last October. We did a lot of traveling. We live four hours away from each other, so we train together either in London or Plymouth as much as we can. Usually we train together three to four days a week. I am happy that our synchronisation is very good. What we need to do now is to sharpen our individual dives to catch up with the Chinese" Daley said.

Great Britain's pair Daley / Goodfellow ©Wang Xin

New pair He Zi/Wang Han (CHN) dominated the women's 3m synchro springboard with 330.30 points, ahead of Viktoriya Kesar/Anastasiia Nedobiga of Ukraine (295.98) and Tania Cagnotto/Francesca Dallape of Italy (293.79).

"We have not trained together for a long time, but we know each other very well and feel comfortable as a team. We did a good job today" He Zi said.

Cagnotto was surprised her country's bronze medal.

"We took some days off after the World Cup and did not think that we could dive as well as we did here. However, we are surprised we did it. We will compete in the next three legs of the World Series and at the European Championships in May. Then we will focus on the training camp before the Rio Olympic Games" said the 1m springboard World champion.

In men's 3m synchro springboard, Cao Yuan/Qin Kai (CHN) regained consistence and confidence, after they lost at the World Cup last month, by earning 442.74 points. Russian pair Evgenii Kuznetsov/Ilia Zakharov took silver with 430.32 points and Sam Dorman/Kristian Ipsen of the USA ended up third (409.08).

"We are happy that we walked out of the shadow from the World Cup and did very well today. We got our consistence and confidence back. We met some problems and we solved them within a week. We will keep our fighting spirit until the Olympic Games," Cao said.

USA's pair in the men Dorman / Ipsen ©Bai Xuefei

The American divers have to wait for their national Olympic trails to secure their spots to Rio.

“We need to keep fighting until the last moment when our national trails kicks off in May,” Dorman said. 

A total of 67 international divers, 34 women and 33 men, from 12 countries are taking part in the event.